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What Happens When You Put Loads Of Punk Legends In One Room?

Andy Biddulph
Andy Biddulph 28 September 2015 at 17.59

Great Collapse happens, that's what.

Current and ex-members of Set Your GoalsStrike Anywhere, Rise AgainstComeback Kid and more, you say? INTERESTING.

Great Collapse's album 'Holy War' is out on October 02 via End Hits, but you can hear it right below.

The band play London's Islington Academy on Saturday (October 03), too!

What's more, allow frontman Thomas Barnett to talk you through the whole album...

01 - 'New Abolition'
"When we look at history, we look at war. We think we see progress in martial victory, progress in every arms race, we let economies choose who lives and dies, by laws and conflicts governed by money, the religion of the elites, and beyond our power. The industries of revision and media transmission are a rising, and they function only to play us against each other until we are played out, until we extinguish ourselves as pawns of war culture, and gender conditioning, open wounds of arrested adulthood, starving stewards of the race to the fire.

This song pushes fast past the myths we are poisoned with about the inevitability of violence, the schadenfreude and realpolitik of hollow leaders, whispers and documents giving away love and life on this blue planet. This is our contribution, our small ...the belly of this monster that the stories of powerless history builds on the backs of our lives. These humans, animals, and breathing landscapes are not our enemy. We build this road by walking on it. No matter how many steps or lifetimes it may take. 'New Abolition' is only the beginning."

02 - 'Human Target'
"This song is about the ecological harm done by industry and the efforts to cover up industrial accident and toxic contamination. We export our dirty industries, to lands and nations we think we cannot feel because we choose not to see: mineral mining for our digital tethers, oil extraction with poison water and earthquakes, and the guilt and accountability we reward corporate shareholders and lobbyists to bury for us. As the planet's fevers expose these crimes, our fragile humanity will reap all the poison we sow."

03 - 'Break In Case Of Emergency'
"To draw out the idea that there are cornerstones of conflict, flashpoints of each decade - little historical moments that spoke truth to power and the whirlwinds that came after. In the face of relentless culture engineering, capitalism's colonisation of representation, weaponized imagery, and even how we relate with history itself.  It's kind of an attempt at a lyrical collage of breaking moments in history or culture. '1970's were made in Hong Kong' is a song by Flux Of Pink Indians, a Crass records band. Starting there, with gratitude and a mission, this song tracks the subtle and spectacular moments that either subverted or fueled the dominant agenda of isolation and passivity. It's our choice to break the glass and resist."

04 -
Occupy, Arab Springs, Kurds In Kobani. The heart of the world hinges on these person to person acts of bravery and hope. Inspired by mayday marches in my hometown of Richmond, Virginia, the Civil Rights Movement in the American South, and the echo of our footsteps harmonic with people worldwide in mutual aid and resistance."

05 - 'The World Between'
"To me, one of the first Great Ideas of Hardcore Punk was to question identity itself, to resist the passive drift into boredom, isolation, consumption, banal and defeated 'grown up' personalities and deep conformity in what Ian Mackaye efficiently termed The Adult Crash. This is about lost time, and holding friends and inspiration close and precious especially as we get older. Dedicated to everyone staring out the window on the train, at the bar, above the kitchen sink, or at the office cubicle, daring to reconnect with your courage and creative heart on that knife edge of loss and remembrance."

06 - 'Dawn Stations'
In the United States, there are great efforts to keep the white working class weaponized against itself, and against the promise of real solidarity and justice; media barons polish the news cycle mirror to bright distortion. Information has become the selling of a psyche: fear and anxiety to generations. Along with a harvest of shallow outrage and an inauthentic white wash of opportunity, this has become a new subculture for the foot soldiers of racial suspicion, xenophobia, and the border-keepers of upper class information domination. All of this crowing entitlement, wrapped in an infantile projection of brittle patriotism, is the hypnotic transmission of an American Dream passion play that silences compassion, reasoning, or dissent. In the end, the passive suburban mentality of unquestioning allegiance and the worship of a uniform is making a modern religion out of giving away power, connection, and integrity. Another thread running through the bad ass tapestry of hardcore is its emphasis on direct experience and critical thinking. And that can save us from all of this mind control and culture engineering. We must stand for truth and unity. We must stand with the lightning striking outside."

07 - '
Beyond Authority'
"This song 'looks' at Images and fashion, sold to us before we learned to speak, shaping our lives based on outside ideas of what is male and what is female. This is dedicated with admiration and gratitude to our transgender and gay brothers, sisters and others, resisting the factory of models and conditions and rising. With this courage to seek truth in yourself and fight for it in the world, we are each made a little more free."

08 - '
Specific Gravity'
or the men and women pulling their lives back together from war, on any side. And the whistleblowers taking every risk to expose the lies of the surveillance state and challenge it's narrative of passive inevitability, separation and suspicion. For every soldier we send, each lie we die to defend, we bring another war back home."

09 - '
The Ones Who Last'
Globalized corporate agriculture, is destroying the land; and the people with the closest ties to it in the process. Free trade and its servant laws defend extraction and profit over all else as mining hollows the heart of the mountains, and maims the earth's children.  This is for the indigenous communities fighting back worldwide against the toxic doctrine of imminent domain economic imperialism. This is for the farmers and healers, a thousand generations of biological symbiosis and harmony to defend. For every flashpoint of resistance, in the rain forests and in the trackless tundra, for every species lost to the land clearing pandemic of western consumption, let the voices echo eternal, let the blood mark the land to remember."

10 - '
Generation In Crosshairs'
It is critical that we examine the distance between violent entertainment in numbness and comfort, and the militarization of many aspects of our culture and psyche. The market of casual killing invades minds of children in an arms race of hyper technology. We build endless war games, and then we are shocked at endless war and shootings In our safest places, and sacred places. We get targeted and profiled and our numbers get data mined by identity vampires. These dangerous distortions of masculinity push the pressure to honor war at the expense of our reasoning, true clear-eyed courage, creativity, and social evolution."

11 -
 'Origin Of A Species'
"There is a space in our minds eye, and in the infinite, blazing present moment, where the human identity - battered and confined by western culture and artifice - is free. Free to know peace and detach from the feedback loop of exhaustion to distraction, confusion then reaction, killing or being killed... We were each born for more than false tradition, narrow lives anemic with regret. We are told to settle for the cliche, the safe, soft life. But the warmth in our blood, the connection we crave is present if we just reach out, scream out, and push.

Yeah, like we do at a hardcore show. I've always believed that these rituals of catharsis and shared emotion through music and art were more than just adopted behaviors of mock violence, shock fashion and theater. It calls to us, challenges us to know ourselves deeply, and know the world beyond what we are sold, and what we are told.

These walls of religious doctrine and nation state, economies of command and powerless fate, are paper thin. There is freedom and truth waiting beyond. In those moments, singing and screaming along, when the self dissolves, even as it's heightened, you can feel it. And through the deep state, through the martial corporate complex of empire and managed perception, past all the clever structures boxing is in, closing us off, and shutting us down - we can take this gift of anger and love, asking every fearless question, and escape. Our truest selves, and the unbroken community of life in this world are waiting for us to break through."

12 - '
One Year'
What do we do with grief? How far do we carry the pain of loss, survivor's guilt, a thousand scenarios of regret - the existential despair at our own powerlessness to stop time, and prevent tragedy? For anyone dealing with these implacable feelings, and striving to remain true to the spirit of lost friends and beloved family; this song is about my own personal journey on this path.

It's specifically dedicated to the memory of A. Carter Graham, a dear friend whose stories, songs and adventures were such a gift to everyone who he worked with, travelled with, and encountered. He was a self taught scholar, a restless brilliant soul whose pink sandaled footsteps echo timelessly now on the streets and trails of the world.

It's also dedicated to the loving memory of Nicolas 'Wauz' Juan Y Tous, and Patricia Arnott."

"Thank you, whoever you are, wherever you might be, for reading this, listening with your whole heart . These songs are a part of us, but hopefully now also a part of you, too."

Intrigued? Pick up the latest Rock Sound to read a whole lot more.

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