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SIEKIERA- Atak 7″EP Bootleg (no label, Canada, ca. 2000)

When I was in Poland in 1991 to visit Auschwitz (Oswjecim, as the village is called in polish), I also met some local anarchists who were quick to invite me to stay at their place. Actually, it was one of the guy’s parents’ home, a tiny apartment in one of these horrible and iconic plattenbaus. Communication was not easy. The iron curtain had fallen not too long ago and people were extremely enthusiastic to meet travelers from foreign countries, such as me. Hardly anybody spoke english, you could get a full meal including wine for $3 and the air was so authentically eastern-block still, my white shirt had turned yellow by the next day.
The three people lived in one room, which was a very small living room and in order to make me feel comfortable, the parents who were in their 50s, moved their stuff into the bathroom and made the bathtub their bed. I insisted that I would sleep in the tub and it would be no problem at all, I tried to talk them out of this plan, with gestures and all, but they just smiled, brought me tea and mineral water and cookies what not. Later that night, the parents sleeping in the bathtub, the other guy (whose name I have forgotten) and I tried our best to find ways to communicate with each other, but it was not easy. At one point, he pulled out some cassettes, among them the SIEKIERA demo. I knew this band, as during the later 80s, polish hardcore bands such as Dezerter, Armia or Siekiera were quite popular in tape trader circuits and Dezerter had some vinyl available. I remember how we just sat there, in the boiling and somewhat poisoned heat of the polish night, played Siekiera and both made gestures of adoration and pleasure.

Sometimes, you would hear that SIEKIERA sounded like Siege, but that is not correct. To me, they sound like the concrete mixer version of south american bands like Ohlo Seco, Lixomania, Colera et al. There’s something deeply devastating about the sound of early SIEKIERA (they later morphed into more accessible post-punk, still totally awesome, like their classic first LP «Nova Aleksandria» from 1985). The early Hardcore tracks are of an incredible intensity, a very heavy existentialism and a rarely heard immediacy. Some will remember Mykel Board’s standard MRR-mantrum in the 80s: “How much punk rock do you hear in Russia?”. Well, I’m not so familiar with russian punk of the 80s, but I do hear a lot of “punk rock” in polish hardcore of the 80s.
When doing a little research on SIEKIERA, I found this incredible, amazing footage on youtube. The black and white pictures, the enthusiasm, the aggression leaves you speechless. In 1984, after years of confrontation between the workers and the Solidarnosc union and the state, Poland was on the brink of civil war or a soviet intervention. Keep this in mind when watching this footage and playing the songs from this bootleg compilation 7″, that features some of the best of Siekiera’s hardcore punk years (see scans for details). I have no idea what the song “Atak” is about, but it sounds like a declaration of war.

 Niosac wronieserca.mp3
Burekdobry pies.mp3
Zabity ty.mp3
Rana kklta.mp3
Woyowniku zabykh.mp3