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måndag 21 oktober 2013

Youth Defense League (introduction)

One of the most wellknown and respected skinhead bands to ever come out of America but also one of the most talked about and hated bands no matter what side of the fence you might stand.

The band was founded in 1986 by young kids living in the Sheepshead Bay area of Brooklyn NY. Inspired by the hard RAC sound from UK (Brutal Attack and Skrewdriver) and the local NY hardcore from bands such as Iron Cross and Agnostic Front they made a sound of their own that still to this day can be heard in bands like Tears of frustration and Offensive Weapon.

The bands first proper line-up was Rob on vocals, Nick L on guitar, Nadeem "Dean" Haj on bass and Rishi Puntes on drums. This line-up recorded the bands first cassette called "Skins for skins" in early 1987. Shortly after Rob quit the band and was replaced by "English Nick" who would stick with the band until their way to early demice.

When one talks or read about YDL it always seem to take a turn into politics and as sad as i think this is other than the killer songs they recorded it's pårobably the only thing interesting about them. So just to clear things up (or make people even more confused) let's sort shit out.

YES: The band promoted and encouraged hardline nationalism, white pride and even performed under "fascist banners" at some shows.

YES: Nick was friendly with members from Brutal attack and also hung around with members from Blood and Honour.

YES: The band is the first wellknown RAC band in America and also one of the first RAC bands to denounce racism.

YES: As previously mentioned the band spoke out against racism at several occations claiming "We're not white power, we're white pride."

YES: The bands bass-player was Palestine and the bands drummer was a Spanish imigrant and YES they did have a Jewish member at one point.

All these fact make the discussion laughable as most people try to claim them as their own not realizing that grey areas are often larger than the dark and light spots that create them. The band had politics, the band had heritage and the band had personal friendships with parts of the scene that you might not like but in the end of the day the band just that, a fucking band. The fact that some folks around the world still  try to sort out if they where "nazi's" only goes to show that shit never change and my guess is that forums in Russia will discuss if Offensive weapon was a "nazi band" in 2033. People never learn.
The band moved on and so should ignorant politicians within the scene, hell "English Nick" even moved on to the extent of becoming a food critic.

If there is anything more confusing than the bands politics it's the bands discography with few releases under their belt when they where an actual band a ton of releases after they broke up. In this discography i won't try to put up shitty old cassette's but instead try to focus on getting every song by the band out there (which their later collections sum up quite well.

1 kommentar:

  1. Great band. Always wondered why you never featured them on here. Cheers.