Kept in line with truncheons
Rifle butts and truncheons
This is state control, this is state control
In 1982, UK punk band Discharge released “State Violence State Control”, a terrifying dystopian rant about police brutality and militarism. Flash forward forty years, and it’s the same old scene. New South Wales-based artist Schkeuditzer Kreuz (alias Kieren Hills) unleashes a ferocious reworking of the track, combining dark, abrasive post-industrial influences with DIY punk. Difficult to pigeonhole musically, Kieren defines the Schkeuditzer Kreuz sound as “D-Beat Raw Synth Punk” – also the name of an EP from earlier in 2021. This cover is dissonant static, an eerie voice cutting through the din and scratches; a disembodied Big Brother.
“I’ve always loved Discharge, but this song more than most from the era has kept my attention: slow, heavy, and very, very aggressive, Hills says. “As a teenager, I wore a patch of the cover of this EP on the back of my jacket, until it fell from my body in shreds. It was my friend Spider (Death Church) who first said I should play it with Schkeuditzer Kreuz – it started almost as a joke, and then developed into what it is now: a part of every live show that always gets people going.”
The cover appears on the album Isolated and Alone; self-released in December 2021 via Dorfpunk. The new video by illustrator, photographer, and filmmaker Photoyunist brilliantly captures the live energy of Schkeuditzer Kreuz’s “one human and some machines” performances, from a recent show at Melbourne’s Last Chance Rock and Roll Bar, on the 21st of January 2022, while on tour in support of the new album.
“I was playing for the anniversary of two friends I had met in a night of blood, noise, and terror in Yokohama six years earlier, and at this show the nightmare continued – fun and pain in equal measures!” says Hills.
Watch the video below:
Physical copies of the LP are now distributed in the UK and Europe by Pyrrhic Defeat Records, and in Australia by Bad Habit Records and Already Broken Records. All proceeds from digital Bandcamp downloads via Dorfpunk are donated to Transcend Australia, to help support trans, gender-diverse, and non-binary kids.
A veteran of the Australian and New Zealand punk scene, Kieren began his journey into underground music in New Zealand during the 1980s, before relocating to Australia with punk rock group S.M.U.T. in 1993. Over the years, he has played in countless underground bands and projects, while based at different times between Australia, New Zealand, and Germany. He has served for the last decade as a bassist with Sydney hardcore band Dark Horse, and he is also a member of occasional deathrock/gothic punk outfit Death Church.
Now living in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Australia, Kieren records as Schkeuditzer Kreuz in a cabin that he built in the woods.
Isolated and Alone presents an often harrowingly bleak and raw response to the present global climate – dealing with themes around fear, mistrust, and paranoia; isolation and marginalisation; and (as with the album’s previous video single, ‘Broken’), mental illness and suicide. Originally scheduled for an October 2021 release, the first vinyl pressing of the Isolated and Alone LP at a plant in China was destroyed by local authorities, who deemed it “unfit for export” due to its alleged “subversive content”; forcing the release back to December while the album was re-pressed.
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