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Discharge wrote songs like "Decontrol", "State Violence, State Control", "Free Speech for the dumb", "Drunk with Power" and other protest classics.
 
Cal's Photomontage Illustration
Cal's Photomontage Illustration
Cal's Photomontage Illustration
Cal's Photomontage Illustration

BACK TO PUNK ALBUM COVERS

The music of the UK band Discharge was brutally fast and angry. The band's brilliance lay in it's sparse use of lyrics... the songs were almost like Japanese haiku poetry, but were concerned with the horrors of the modern world and the drive towards war. Sample lyrics; "The savage mutilation of the human race is set on course. protest and survive, protest and survive. It is up to us to change that course. protest and survive, protest and survive." These words would be sung (shouted), over and over to the machine gun like staccato of roaring guitars.

The band released this album, titled Hear nothing, see nothing, say nothing in 1982, and the stunning photomontage that served as its cover was created by the band's vocalist, Cal. The artwork's anti-apathy message being, those who hear nothing, see nothing, say nothing have heads of cabbage. The stark imagery harkens back to the brilliant photomontage work of the 1930's German artist John Heartfield. In fact the band used Heartfield's famous 1932 image of the white dove of peace impaled on a fascist bayonet as the cover for one of their other record releases. In yet another comparison to rebels past... before the outbreak of the Second World War, some adherents of the dada surrealist movement chastised popular music for being a bourgeois distraction. Likewise, Discharge advocated noise, not music in their total aural assault against the status quo.
www.art-for-a-change.com is owned and operated by Mark Vallen All text by Mark Vallen.