I was not planning on writing a piece about PUKE ISLAND but, since it did have a political twist to it I thought the event should get some attention.
A friend’s band played yesterday, Universal Truth Machine, at what was formerly known as PUNK FEST,, was called Puke Fest to represent the political feel of what’s currently happening in America lately.
The event was organized by a band called ICONICIDE, a hard core band,, described on their website as,, a NYC based band whose sound has ranged from sludgy political dirges to blazing fast thrash, from toe tapping street punk to a lethal mix of dub reggae and death metal. Underlying it all has been what spurred frontman Chris (the Antimessiah) to start the band back in 1988: the stripped down, no nonsense, rip out your guts sound of Early 80s New York Hardcore. Lyrically ICONICIDE are just as uncompromising. Songs advocating human extinction (Voluntary Human Extinction MovemenT) coexist with assaults on militarism and power for power’s sake (Fuck It), along with the requisite anti religious barrages (Whoreship, Benediction/Malediction, et cetera). In their long, checkered history, ICONICIDE have touched the fates of a long list of bands… Today ICONICIDE is tougher, more worldweary, and just as dangerous.
Iconicide was not one of the bands who played yesterday because, as Chris from Iconicide, known as the Anti Messiah on their website, explained, it was about letting other bands have the opportunity to play.
So, it seems that Punk is not dead in NYC after all. I remember back in the 80’s and even the 90’s, the Heavy Metal/Punk scene was alive and kicking a__ in NYC and thought it would never die.
Rock and Roll in the 60’s and 70’s was about sticking it to the “man”, rebelling against the system and being ones own person. That attitude is being resurrected with this event which was kicked off by Universal Truth Machine. This is a video of UTM called Soundtrack for the Pre Apocalypse which shows a lot of pictures of wars and Police in riot gear facing protesters. https://youtu.be/xRpb3lqVqhw
lyrics from UTM song Kids of Cain,
Say hello to the new authorities
The paramilitary immorality police
It’s hard to see the cross-hairs when they’re right between your eyes
The other idol’s angels are the devils in disguise
The kids of Cain have gone completely insane
Pray for rain, you get a hurricane
With your savior’s sense of humor, please don’t do me any favors
It’s a sickness unto death
From a song Whoreship from Iconicide goes something like,
How do you whoreship your god
Klansmen’s lawns crosses burn
Eye for an eye no you will never learn
How do you whoreship your god
Hitler’s reich the Crooked Cross
Six Million Lies a necessary loss
Salute your leaders and you
Fall right into line
You’ve got no conscience left for
Them to undermine
The Lyrics give you some idea of the Political aim this band and many of the bands at PUKE ISLAND were taking.
Prya Reddy, an activist and independent journalist, and from Let them Talk Paul DeRienzo spoke at the event also. Paul, a resident of the LES for 20 or so years, told the story when Police came with Tanks in the 90’s to remove squatters who were demanding rights to affordable housing. May 30th 1995 was an eviction of a small community of squatted buildings on E 13th St.
TJ Frawls from Universal Truth Machine said,” It was a ton of fun to play Puke Island. All the bands were great. It is the perfect counter-point to all the lifeless corporate- and state-sponsored festivals that dominate the New York City summer music scene. Events like Puke Island are the antidote for those of us who want to vomit when we smell the rotten stinking garbage that passes for culture today.”