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July 22, 2024

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Genocide SS
II - We Are Born of Hate (Relapse)

By: Jeb Branin

When your record label has to put a "ban swastika" sticker on your promo so people will know you're not a Nazi band, it may be a clue that your band name sucks. Even with the nice little sticker, one has to wonder why in the hell a band would pick a name like GENOCIDE SS. Considering the fact the CD has only partial lyrics included, is called "We Are Born of Hate" and the fact the press material ignores the situation completely (other than the sticker), I can't help but remain skeptical as to the intent here. The moniker isn't shocking, it isn't tough, it isn't mean, it isn't even "hate filled" (which might have been the point), it is merely stupid. The only way it could actually be shocking is if it WAS a genuine Nazi sympathy statement, in which case "stupid" doesn't even begin to describe the minuscule mental powers on display. Relapse should have asked the band to change their name or passed on them. Simple as that. This isn't a question of censorship, it is simply the fact extreme music fans should not have to pay money for a CD that has even the hint of Nazi sympathy associated with it. I am old enough, and so are most of the folks at Relapse, to remember when you couldn't swing a dead cat in the extreme music underground without hitting a Nazi. 15 years later we have finally flushed that crap out of our scene (for the most part) and we don't need to flirt with it now, even if that isn't what the band meant by their choice of moniker. Regardless of what the band intended, even if they somehow intended it to be an anti-Nazi statement, it was a poor decision. What makes it worse in my book is how amazing this CD is. If Lemmy of MOTORHEAD decided to front a thrash/grind/power violence band this is what it would sound like. This is bloody raw extreme hardcore with a rusty grind edge to it. There are even JOY DIVISION and ROUGE MALE (a cheesy 80s metal band) covers that are better than the originals. From a purely musical perspective this is as intense and harsh as anything I've heard this year and deserves no less than a million spins in the ole' CD player. However, just thinking about how much space of this review I had to spend on the band's name instead of the band's music, pisses me off.
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