Aggression and syllables. You wouldn’t think this would be a recipe for greatness, but Warsaw’s Semantik Punk would have to argue otherwise. These newly surfaced art thrashers have just released their debut full length, abcdefghijklmnoprstuwxyz (yes, it’s the alphabet), and their introspective, completely batshit off-the-wall crazy brand of hardcore has me both confused and incredibly hooked. Produced by Ross Robinson, a top engineer who has worked with everyone from Korn to At the Drive-In, abcdefghijklmnoprstuwxyz comes across more like some weird art project dreamed up by some English grad students who love hardcore than it does as an actual album. While, yes, it is a complete record, I swear you’ve never heard anything like it.
To put it simply, Semantik Punk does things a bit differently than most hardcore bands would. Take one look at the nonsensical tracklisting of abcdefghijklmnoprstuwxyz and you’ll quickly understand that these musicians are on a different level of thinking than others. The album is built around an overarching concept of the meaninglessness of language, and rather than use elevated jargon to demonstrate these esoteric theories, Semantik Punk chooses to, instead, replace their lyrics with incoherent syllabic babbling. Just to give you an idea of the pure insanity, “Ugięcie pa” opens with the vocalist screaming “kiedy wyjdzie / przeze mnie / rozumienie / yyy yyy,” while the band simultaneously breaks down the concept of time signatures and structure for a blistering minute and thirty seconds.
I could go on for days discussing the heavy industrial guitar effects in “Zza A” or the monotonous reciting of the alphabet during the title track, but I don’t want to spoil all of the madness for you. The band just wrapped up a performance at Off Festival in Poland and will hopefully make their way over to the states soon for some shows. In the meantime, you'll find me learning how to sing along to “unik skuteczny / po otwarciu / oczu unik / po wydarciu.”