Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Raw Power

Taking it all the way to Italy for this one.

Aaargh! Raw Power's debut album clearly demonstrates that they're among the world's best hardcore bands. It also shows that they are more versatile than one might have been led to expect--along with ripping thashers with paint-stripping vocals in the tradition of "Fuck Authority" (like "Repression"), there are some slower, more controlled cuts (such as "Hate"). Although the production here is too muddy to bring out their full power--you'll have to see them live to witness that--their merciless lyrical and aural assault should not be missed.
-Jeff Bale (from Maximum Rocknroll #16, August 1984)

Raw Power was started in 1981 in Poviglio, Italy, by brothers Mauro and Giuseppe Codeluppi (the singer and guitarist). They released their first LP You Are The Victim in 1984, on Meccano Records, a tiny Italian indy label whose sketchy business practices resulted in almost no copies of the record ever surfacing. Unhappy with the flat production and about to undergo a line-up change, Raw Power didn't rerelease this now ultra-rare collector's item until 2002. The band gained more acclaim from earlier cassette releases on the American BCT label, like 1983's Brown Studio Demos and the recently reissued Last White Xmas tape. At this point Mauro shared vocal duties with a maniac named Silvio, who produced some of the most shredding, shreiking screams imaginable. Their anthem "Fuck Authority," with Silvio's caterwauling vox and drummer Helder's trademark cow-bell fills, was featured on Maximum Rock'n'roll's Welcome to 1984 compilation LP. The song was a high point in an amazing line-up of international hardcore powerhouses. By now Raw Power was established as a mighty force in the world of punk, and won the attention of another US label: Arizona's Toxic Shock. When the band set out on its first U.S. tour in 1984, they arranged to record a second LP with Zero Boy Paul Mahern in Indiana.

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