What? Forty years since Discharge first released ‘Realities of War’? For a few generations, the idea that there was a time before punk rock seems devoid of logic. The household commodities that the first wave produced, are known worldwide and celebrated in their various meanings from politics, society and economic structure. But, to me, Discharge are not as celebrated as much as they should be. They’re currently at their career high, with their most consistent touring, demand higher than ever and even released a new album in 2016 ‘End of Days’. So, still hitting it hard with the new stuff, why not introduce to a generation that either A: Wasn’t alive when you began and B: Streams most of their music, to a fresh anthology of what made Discharge great.

Protest and Survive’ is a fine double disc for new fans, or those curious to wonder who Discharge are (you will have seen them on numerous leather jackets, t-shirts etc on bands alone. They influenced Slayer!) Disc one composed from their earlier works, including the big hitters ‘Hear Nothing, See Nothing, Say Nothing’, ‘Nightmare Continues’ and ‘Never Again’ and covers all their E.P.s, which is always a great feature, because they can sometimes slip by the wayside in bands careers. Rounded up to the release of the release of ‘Discharge’ which was the comeback album in 2002 with original vocalist Cal Morris. Disc two consists of rough demos, live tracks and remastered classics from 2004. So, a great addition to hear different cuts of songs you’re familiar with. With live recordings that just sound visceral and urgent.

However, those who are already part of the die hard collective, will remember a similar release ‘Societies Victims’ in 2004, which this release being a trimmed down version of that three CD box set. But, never is a targeted “best of” aimed at the die hards anyway. This is for the current, fresh and new that have discovered the band or are looking into these guys. Remastered for 2020, ‘Protest and Survive’ is an ideal listen to newfound fans, or if you want to listen to punk rock that influenced so much that is heavy and fancy making yourself deaf for an evening. Worse things to ruin your hearing to these days!

Discharge: Protest And Survive – Our 21st February 2020 (BMG Records)

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