Saturday, April 20, 2013

SLIME - Slime I LP

The Red Army Faction (RAF) activity reached it's apex of terrorism in 1977 with the 'German Autumn'.  The RAF was making the second attempt in a decade to upturn the Federal Republic of Germany AKA West Germany.  Not entirely unlike the student movement in 1968 the RAF believed West Germany was a fledgling fascist state.  Unlike the student movement hippie protest of '68 they had an affection for bombs.  Chosing in 1977 a few assassinations while their cohorts, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine hijacked a commercial airliner to leverage for the release of 
incarcerated members.  The outcome wasn't what they had hoped.  During all this insanity punk rock was exploding all over the globe, Germany included.  It isn't much a surprise that when Slime released their first LP "Slime I" in 1981 it was somewhat banned.  With a country trying to forget it's fascist past and an extreme left running about killing people and the commies a few feet away you had some options.  The wane of RAF and wax of punk probably had the state scrambling to what head they need to pull out of which ass.  An association between RAF and punks may have been perceived as little more ambiguous than it truly was.  Punks didn't want any political form, they wanted Anarchy.  Shit on fascism, shit on RAF and it's sympathizers. Embrace a little chaos for a change.  That wasn't going to be clear until punks got their act together and stopped adorning themselves with swastikas or RAF patches just because.  No wonder the punks drew heat so quickly.  Slime's star album cover might be a nod to the  RAF, right?  
Slime drew even more attention as the most popular punk band in West Germany.  How big Slime was I can't say.  I imagine what Slime was to West Germany is not far from what Anti-Flag is to the current United States.  I haven't found their name along side Hans A Plast, Kriminalitatsforderungsclub, Stuka Pilots, Male, Mittagpause, The Buttocks, West Germany's first punk band Charley's Girls, any of the numerous industrial and experimental groups that shared gigs with punk bands or any other contemporary underground bands of the late 70's and early 80's.  I use that as my gauge, not seeing them on smaller bills.  Regardless, Slime was high profile for underground rock and roll.  This would prove to be more and more problematic as time passed from their inception in Hamburg in '79.  Against war, militarism, politicians, police, Slime had some great anthemic songs and a message they broadcast loudly and clearly.  They were heard too.  Their harsh defamation of the police would be the step across boundries.  The record was banned and copies were confiscated.  A censored version bleeping out lyrics was made available.  Slime were also not to perform three songs from the album live lest criminal charges would be served.  Slime was now under a watchful eye.  At a Dead Kennedy's and Millions of Dead Cops show in Hamburg when Slime opened in 1983 there were 100 officers present at the show.  The police were there in hopes to arrest Slime when they played any one of the banned songs.  They never played any of those songs and I've heard a quarter of the officers present that night found the ordeal of being at a punk show so unnerving they quit the force.  As Slime continued to catch more of the limelight the fans began to fling accusations of them selling out.  By 1984 Slime felt that screaming a call for an absence of leaders in songs can not be done when the bands popularity is in and of itself making the group an institution.  Some years down the road Slime would reunite.  The punk scene was being increasingly pressed by police and Slime decided to pick up the torch again aiming to add strength to the scene.  This reformation happened in 1990 and I do wonder if there is a direct correlation of the instability in the Eastern Bloc bringing down the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the impending failure of the Iron Curtain to the increased stern policy of the police.

Slime operates through patchwork of sounds on "Slime I".  Flirting with Reggae, some smoother riffs with a little melody that have a great KBD feel.  A few full bore three chords strung together and a couple of good punk anthems.  The three songs that were banned from this album are Deutschland, Bullenschweine and A.C.A.B..  The A.C.A.B. (All Cops Are Bastards) sentiment is prevalent in punk overall.  Over the past few years it appears like it is a trend.  It constantly pops up in my face.  All Cops Are Bastards origins go back long before punk as does the acronym A.C.A.B..  It became popularized in punk by 4 Skins with the song A.C.A.B. on their album "The Good, The Bad And The 4 Skins" released in 1982.  Slime predates that by a year and I wonder if Slime is the first instance of A.C.A.B. in punk.  If you know otherwise, please share.  One last thing, this rip isn't from a censored record.

SLIME <3 Polizei
ELF 30 years later

I feel there is a lot more that could be said, and said more accurately about Slime and West German punk in it's infancy.  Actually I know there is.  Please do some ball busting.  I am lazy and give up here.

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