Discharge - Stoke-on-Trent Punk

Formed: Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England, UK

Stoke-On-Trent's contribution to the war against aural serenity.

Discharge - Decontrol: The Singles - UK 2xCD 2002 (Sanctuary - CMDDD463)3

When Terence "Tezz" Roberts (vocals), Royston "Rainy" Wainwright (guitar) and Anthony "Bones" Roberts (lead guitar), Nigel Bamford (bass) and Anthony "Akko" Axon (drums) formed Discharge in 1977, they were a typical bog-standard punk band, all safety pins and dog collars, singing crappy songs like 'I Love Dead Babies' and 'No Future USA', as evidenced on their much-bootlegged 1978 demo.

It was when fiery Kelvin Morris aka Cal joined the group in 1979 - replacing that they ditched the mid-speed '77 punk style in favour of the pneumatic drill attack that won them acclaim.

Discharge took the minimalist ethic of the Ramones to its absolute extremes on a handful of multi-song singles and two blistering albums, Why and Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing, ultimately paving the way for thrash metal. The most ferocious of pacifists, Discharge's attack consisted of monstrous high speed guitar riffs and demented proto-thrash solos, submachine gun drumming and Cal's hugely embittered shout, which makes the almost-banally blunt lyrics virtually indecipherable. Not given over to verses and middle-eights as such, you could fit the words to the group's minute-long songs onto the backs of matchboxes.

For example, some of complete song lyrics for you:

REALITIES OF WAR

War is a black hole to avoid
The realities of war are so disturbing
The declare it but they don't hear the cries of fear

War is a black hole to avoid

Mutilated corpses and charcoal flesh
Litter the battlefields
But their dead bodies are not to be found

War is a black hole to avoid

Discharge - Realities Of War - UK 7" 1980 (Clay - CLAY 1) A-SideDischarge - Fight Back - UK 7" 1980 (Clay - CLAY 3) A-Side

BUT AFTER THE GIG

Leather and sweat fills the atmosphere
I sense an enjoyment as I pogo too
The anarchist words being shouted out

That's not real music
And I'm just shoutin' and screamin'
But that's the response to an anarchist meeting

But after the gig,
Its back to obeying their every say,
Back to be being those
Poor lambs led to the fuckin slaughter

FIGHT BACK

Bristol's riots was a result of people's anger
Towards the system

Fight the system fight back

People die in police custody
Where's the justice in that, don't see none

Fight the system fight back

We've been shit on far too long
There are no equalities, no freedom

Fight the system fight back

Stand up fight for freedom
Stand up fight for your rights

Fight the system fight back

YOU TAKE PART IN CREATING THIS SYSTEM

You take part in creating this system
That we all must suffer in
We can't stop going round and round
We got to fix this rat race

This is the system you helped to create

They use you for corruption schemes
You're the unrealised and unintended
You're the one, the one they don't like
You let them know your fears

This is the system you helped to create

You ask me why I'm fighting the system
Why I'm preaching anarchy
I'm fighting for the freedom
Fighting for the rights, for the likes of you and me

This is the system you helped to create

Discharge - Decontrol UK UK 7" 1980 (Clay - CLAY 5) A-SideDischarge - Never Again - UK 7" 1981 (Clay - CLAY 6) A-Side

DECONTROL

They fill you up with their fucking lies
You're the victims of government schemes
They take liberties they've no right to take
And you believe they're oh so right
They only show concern when war is declared
Cos you're their power and glory
This whole affair's so fucking unfair
It's so fucking sick

Decontrol, decontrol
We're being shit on far too long

NEVER AGAIN

A blinding light, winds and firestorms agonised crying
Never never never again

Unanswered cries of help, panic and desperation
Never never never again

Dazed and stricken survivors search for lost families
Never never never again

Choking lust, crazy with thirst, drinking from poisoned pools and streams
Never never never again

STATE VIOLENCE / STATE CONTROL

Kept in line with truncheons
Rifle butts and truncheons
This is state control, this is state control

State control, state control, this is state control

Beaten up behind closed doors
Cracked and bruised ribs, bloody mouth
Cracked and bruised skull, bloody mouth

State control, state control, this is state control

The fact that all their songs sounded identical was part and parcel of their power, that and their undiminished commitment to anti-war and vegetarian causes.

Discharge Lineup1

Discharge, Vice Squad and Black Flag at Montreal Dirst Hardcore Blitz

Discharge - Decontrol: The Singles - UK 2xCD 2002 (Sanctuary - CMDDD463)3

Unfortunately, by the time of 1983's Warning EP the lineup had gone through serious changes - most importantly the departure of guitarist Bones - and Discharge began sliding towards more overtly metal arenas. The main issue was Bones' replacement, Pooch, who simply could not match Bones for sheer ferocity and played in a more heavy metal style, which Cal seemed only too keen to encourage, abandoning his testy growl for a yelp instead. Discharge - The Price Of Silence Advert

Nonetheless, he was still master of the no-nonsense lyric:

THE PRICE OF SILENCE

Living in a shadow shadow of fear
This is the price the price of silence
Waiting in death row one foot in the grave
This is the price the price of silence

BORN TO DIE IN THE GUTTER

Homeless and alone hungry and cold

Born to die to die in the gutter
Born to die to die in the gutter

Dying of exposure in the cold night

Born to die to die in the gutter
Born to die to die in the gutter

Homeless and alone hungry and cold

Born to die to die in the gutter
Born to die to die in the gutter

Left you for dead in the cold night

Born to die to die in the gutterDischarge - The Price Of Silence - UK 7" 1983 (Clay - CLAY 29) B-Side

ANGER BURNING

Inside I feel anger burn
Inside I feel anger burning

Burn burn burn burn

And the flame is burning, burning higher

IN DEFENCE OF OUR FUTURE

We have no choice but to fight back
In defence of our future

In defence of our future
It's up to you, you and I
To make a stand, to make a stand

WHERE THERE IS A WILL THERE IS A WAY

We as one hold the key to the door
The door to peace and freedom
Where there is a will ...there is a way

 

1983 also saw another single, The Price Of Silence, creep out to strong sales, but it was their last decent effort. The More I See (1984) and Ignorance (1985) singles were also Top Ten Indie hits, but the band was in total disarray. In fact, Discharge on the latter release consisted solely of Cal and Rainey.

Their heavy metal direction bore rotten fruit on the atrocious Grave New World, a heavy metal record in every sense of the term. Reverting to his given name of Kelvin Morris, Cal's vocals go up two or three octaves and becoming an annoying Yank squeal, the songs become three or four times longer than usual (side two has a grand total of three tracks!), and the guitarist churns out those lead guitar bits that sound like a whinnying horse. Even the lyrics had changed. They weren't much longer, but now read like poxy pacifist poetry, all angsty and whiny.

They also looked this this:

 

Discharge 1986

SLEEP IN HOPEDischarge - The Price Of Silence - UK 7" 1983 (Clay - CLAY 29) B-Side

Sleep in hope
In hope of this
A land where thought
Is as free as the sun
Where the altars of sheer power
And mere profit have fallen
Fallen to disuse
Fallen to disuse

So my friend
Sleep in hope
In hope of this
In hope of this
And may your will power tower
And your heart be strong
And may your will power tower
Will power towerDischarge - Warning - US Tour Flyer

A land where peace and love
Reign above
Hate and war
Where no greed or creed do the people
Do the people heed
So sleep in hope
But your hope must wake
While your choice is yours
Yours to make

IN LOVE BELIEVE

Keep the candle burning
Maybe one day
We'll see things the same
Don't be afraid
No don't be afraid
Afraid to care
Open wide
The door to your heart

Extend the kind arm of infinity
All over the human the human sphere
Release release our troubled hearts
And grant our children our children peace

The band split in 1987, following a disastrous US tour and after Morris had been briefly replaced by ex-Wrathchild front man Rob "Rocky Shades" Berkeley. Ex-Wrathchild!? Fuck me!

Then Cal reformed the band in 1990 with an entirely new lineup, issuing two shit LPs. Massacre Divine repeated the folly of Grave New World to equally heinous effect, with sludgy grunge/metal/thrash of the lowest order, and along with Shootin' Up The World were more than enough to alienate their few remaining fans.

The self-titled Discharge marks a return to the style that made the group so amazing first time around, with very few concessions to heavy metal and Cal's voice back to his early style. Short and to the point.

Discharge - Decontrol: The Singles - UK 2xCD 2002 (Sanctuary - CMDDD463) 7

Discharge - Vision Of War UK 2xCD 1997 (Recall/Snapper – SMD CD 131) Tray 2

LINEUP 1 (1977):

Discharge 1977

Terry "Tezz" Roberts - vocals
Roy "Rainy" Wainwright – guitar
Tony "Bones" Roberts – guitar
Nigel Bamford – bass
Tony "Akko" Atkinson – drums

This lineup didn't last long, NIgel left before they recorded their first demo in mid-1977, and Rainy switched from guitar to bass and they recorded their early demos. These can be heard on Early Demo's March - June 1977.

LINEUP 2 (1977-1980):

Terry "Tezz" Roberts - vocals
Tony "Bones" Roberts – guitar
Roy "Rainy" Wainwright – bass
Tony "Akko" Atkinson – drums

Note: Thanks to Mick Waters for sending in this information

LINEUP 3 (1980-1981):

Discharge - Decontrol: The Singles - UK 2xCD 2002 (Sanctuary - CMDDD463) 5

Kelvin "Cal" Morris - vocals
Bones - guitar
Rainy - bass
Tezz - drums

The lineup that recorded the 1978 demo and the first three 7" Singles. Tezz then went on to join UK Subs, Urban Dogs, Broken Bones, Naked Raygun, Ministry, Pegboy, Murphy's Law, Billy Club and others.

LINEUP 4 (1981):

Cal - vocals
Bones - guitar
Rainy - bass
Dave 'Bambi' Ellsmere (ex-The Insane) - drums

The lineup that recorded the Why 12" (1981) and played on the famous Apocalypse Now Tour. Bambi left to re-join The Insane.

LINEUP 5(1981-1983):

Discharge 1982

Cal - vocals
Bones - guitar
Rainy - bass
Garry Maloney (ex-Varukers) - drums

This lineup recorded Never Again (7", 1981), Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing (LP, 1982) and State Violence State Control (7", 1982). Bones left to form Broken Bones with his brother Tezz,

LINEUP 6 (1983-1985):Dicharge and Black Flag

Cal - vocals
Peter "Pooch" Purtill - guitar
Rainy - bass
Garry Maloney - drums

This is the new heavy metally lineup that recorded Warning: Her Majesty's Government Can Seriously Damage Your Health (12", 1983), The Price Of Silence (7", 1983) and The More I See (7"/12", 1984)

Later members include (it's too complicated listing all the lineups):

Singers:
Anthony "Rat" Martin (The Varukers) - vocals (2002-present)

Guitarists:
Les 'The Mole' Hunt (1984-1986)
Stephen 'Fish' Brookes (ex-Skeptix) (1986)
Andy Green - guitar (1990-1995)
Labanthorsen "The Torn" Ekeroth (1995–1999)

Bassists:
Nick Bushell (1986, 1995-1999)
Anthony Morgan (1990-1993)

Drummers:
Micky Gibson (1984–1986)
Mika Karppinen (ex-Valvontakomissio, pre-HIM) (1990-1991)
Garry Maloney came back for a period (1991–1995)
Dave "Proper" Caution (2006–present)

This lineup limped through a tour in support of the latest LP, whereupon Steve and Nick joined a proper metal band, Demon.

PUNK LIVES INTERVIEW, 1982

Discharge Punk Lives Interview

DISCOGRAPHY

Singles / Albums

Discharge - Realities Of War Discharge - Fight Back Discharge - Decontrol Discharge - Why Discharge - Never Again
Realities Of War
(7", 1980)
Fight Back (7", 1980) Decontrol (7", 1980) Why (12", 1981) Never Again (7", 1981)
Discharge - Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing Discharge - State Violence State Control Discharge - Never Again Discharge - Warning: Her Majesty's Government Can Seriously Damage Your Health Discharge - The Price Of Silence
Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing (LP, 1982) State Violence State Control (7", 1982) Never Again
(LP, 1983)
Warning: Her Majesty's Government Can Seriously Damage Your Health
(12", 1983)
The Price Of Silence
(7", 1983)
Discharge - The More I See Discharge - Ignorance Discharge - Grave New World Discharge - Massacre Divine Discharge - Shootin' Up The World
The More I See
(7"/12", 1984)
Ignorance
(7"/12", 1985)
Grave New World
(LP, 1986)
Massacre Divine (LP/CD, 1991) Shootin' Up The World (CD, 1993)
Discharge - Discharge Discharge - War Is Hell Discharge - Discharge + MG 15 Discharge - Beginning Of The End Discharge - Disensitise
Discharge
(LP/CD, 2002)
Tour Edition 001
(CD, 2004)
Discharge / MG15
(7", split, 2005)
Beginning Of The End (7"/CDS, 2006) Disensitise (CD, 2009)
Discharge - Japan 09 Discharge / Off With Their Heads Propaganda Feeds    
Japan 09 (CD, 2009) Discharge / Off With Their Heads
(7, split, 2011)
Propaganda Feeds
(7", 2011)
   

Extraneous Releases

Discharge - Live At The Lyceum; 24th May 1981 Discharge - The Price Of Silence Discharge - Punk And Destroy Discharge - 1980-1986 Discharge - Live At The City Garden New Jersey
Live At The Lyceum; 24th May 1981
(Tape, 1981)
The Price Of Silence (LP, 1984) Punk And Destroy
(LP, 1984)
1980-1986 (LP, 1987) Live At The City Garden New Jersey
(LP/CD, 1989)
Discharge - Live The Nightmare Continues Discharge - Protest And Survive 1980-1984 Discharge - The Clay Punk Singles Collection Discharge - Vision Of War Discharge - Free Speech For The Dumb
Live The Nightmare Continues
(LP/CD, 1990)
Protest And Survive 1980-1984
(2xCD, 1992)
The Clay Punk Singles Collection (CD, 1995) Vision Of War
(2xCD, 1997)
Free Speech For The Dumb (2xCD, 1999)
Discharge - Hardcore Hits Discharge - Decontrol: The Singles Discharge - Society's Victims Discharge - Apocalypse Now Discharge - Early Demo's March - June 1977
Hardcore Hits
(CD, 1999)
Decontrol: The Singles (2xCD, 2002) Society's Victims
(3xCD, 2004)
Apocalypse Now
(2xCD, 2008)
Early Demo's March - June 1977 (CD, 2008)
Discharge - War Is Hell        
War Is Hell
(LP/CD, 2008)
       

Bootlegs

Discharge - Live Nottingham Union 12/3/83 Discharge - Philadelphia 15/10/82 Discharge - First Ever London Show 'Music Machine' 28/10/80 Discharge - Discharge Bootleg LP Discharge - Demo 1978
Live Nottingham Union 12/3/83 (7", 1987) Philadelphia 15/10/82 (LP, 2002) First Ever London Show 'Music Machine' 28/10/80 (LP, 2002) Discharge (LP, 2003) Discharge Demo 1978
(7", 2010)
Discharge - Demo 1978 Discharge - Live In Preston Discharge - Early Years 1977-78-79 Discharge - No Time For Romance - 1977 Demo Discharge - Tomorrow Belongs To Us
Live 1983 (LP, 2010) Live In Preston
(7")
Early Years 1977-78-79 (CD, 2010) No Time For Romance - 1977 Demo (CDR) Tomorrow Belongs To Us (CDR)
Discharge - The Final Blood Bath Discharge - Nightmare In Lepakko - 25/4/1983 Discharge - Massacre Of Philadelphia - 3/12/1982    
The Final Blood Bath (CD) Nightmare In Lepakko - 25/4/1983 (CD) Massacre Of Philadelphia - 3/12/1982 (CD)    

Various Artists

Driven To Death UK LP 1990 ((Clay): Decontrol / State Violence State Control / The Price Of Silence / Never Again / Ain't No Feeble Bastard

Apocalypse Punk Tour 1981 UK CD 1992 (Dojo Music): Maimed And Slaughtered / Decontrol

Maggie, Maggie, Maggie; Out! Out! Out! UK LP 1987 (Anagram): Warning

Still Our Future Your Messing Up UK LP/CD 2009 (Vile): Legacy You Left Behind / Propaganda Feeds

Links


 

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