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SPERMBIRDS / WALTER ELF- Don’t forget the Fun! Split 7″EP (X-Mist Records, Germany, 1986)

This is one of these little pearls that were maybe more of regional importance – at least until SPERMBIRDS became the best export of the not so great mid 80s German Hardcore scene. In retrospective, it’s weird: You had these great German (Hardcore-) Punk bands like Razzia, Toxoplasma, Middle Class Fantasies, Chaos Z, Vorkriegsphase, Vorkriegsjugend, Buttocks, Cretins, Nikoteens, Inferno and the lot – they all had a very aggressive, sometimes a bit metallic sound that was quite special – and then they either disappeared or changed style. U.S. Hardcore (“Amipunk”, as it was called) was big – everybody loved those frantic records and somehow these bands inspired the German scene massively, but except for maybe Nikoteens and a few others, there were no bands around that actually tried to sound alike. Could be that the strong anti-american ressentment of the 80s were responsible for this, but in 1984-1985, American Hardcore finally arrived in Germany. At first, it was mainly a fashion issue: bandanas, shirts, skateboards and such, as seen in the blossoming Italian scene and the italian bands that toured Germany, Holland, Switzerland etc.
Then, step by step, the music changed and the funny thing is: Germany, already divided into west and east, became divided into south and north too: Hardcore à la USA was big in the south, the north was dominated by Punk nostalgia (leather jackets, mohawks and such). Consequently, one of the first “real” HC fanzines came from southern Germany and it was the center of the movement: “Trust” – “The southern German Hardcore fanzine”, as it said in the subtitle. A couple months later, a new fanzine named “Dust” was issued (in mid-northern Germany, of course), with the hilarious subtitle “Northern German brutal-pogo fanzine”.

The rivalry didn’t last long and I think that had much to do with bands like SPERMBIRDS. They were so energetic, fresh and vital – they were irresistible. Other groups like Challenger Crew, Everything Falls Apart (both from the “Trust” fanzine milieu), Sons of Sadism, Skeezicks (actually Armin X-Mist’s band), Desaster Area and many more surfaced at around the same time – but to me, SPERMBIRDS were by far the best and that had a lot to do with the singer Lee, an American citizen who had either worked on some military compound or stranded in Germany, I don’t remember. This guy represented the whole Hardcore thing – a fast talker, great singer, kinda Jello Biafra-like performer, backed by a band that got tighter and tigher but never sounded “Metal” (not until 1988). The shows were fantastic! Some of the most intense live memories I have: bands like SPERMBIRDS, Skeezicks, Challenger Crew in a sweaty basement, 50-100 people capacity but filled with twice as many – a sea of bodies and what Paul from Exodus would have called “friendly violent fun”. These three songs are so damn great – just like the first SPERMBIRDS LP (and parts of the 2nd). If Joe and Lee read this: Hats off!

I never cared for WALTER 11 too much. Beer, soccer and funpunk: Worse than Hitler.

I decided to also scan the flyer from “Speed Airplay”-Röbi who had a little distro (SM – short for not our favorite sport, but “Sensemann”, “reaper” that is) and who sold this split EP in Switzerland. Great memories.

SPERMBIRDS:
My God rides a Skateboard.mp3
Shit rolls downhill.mp3
She’s got VD.mp3

WALTER 11:
Fünfzehn Bier.mp3
Kaiserslautern.mp3

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