Bandcamp of the Day: Taqbir

Amongst the most influential punk scenes in the world, the hardcore scene of Tokyo in the early ’80s may cast one of the longest shadows. Its enigmatic scions, like GISM, The Close, and others, have certainly drilled their way into the psychic bedrock of the underground iconosphere here in the US, but there really isn’t any part of the human civilization that is beyond the reach of its influence. On the exact opposite side of the world, there is now even a band who resembles the best of what that scene once offered, enter Morocco’s Taqbir.

Taking up the flag of religious freedom (and freedom from religion) on their debut EP Victory Belongs To Those Who Fight For A Right Cause, Taqbir erupts from their island home like a fountain of lava, too hot for the surrounding sea to quench. If there was any question about their commitment to spreading a message of freedom through punk fury should you accept no further evidence than their name, Taqbir, the local variant of “Allahu Akbar,” a phrase the band describes as a battle cry. Further, the members of Taqbir are anonymous, for reasons of both personal privacy, but also due to concerns over physical safety and political necessity, as the authorities and religious leaders in their home country would be none too happy to find out who actually put out this album, and the consequences for being caught would be, to say the least, not good. If you believe music can change the world and that freedom of expression is an inherent right of all human beings, you really can’t put down payment on your ideals in a better way than by supporting a band like Taqbir. All of the lyrics may be sung in Darija (Moroccan Arabic), but you don’t have to speak their language to understand what they are saying and the passion with which they express it.

Victory Belongs To Those Who Fight For A Right Cause begins with the anguished release of “Sma3” which is a rough chop of ruthless, heat blistered guitars and manic and insatiable grooves, all guided by the head-clearing shouts of their lead vocalist. “Aisha Qandisha” is a dirty burst of indignant aggression and chiding sentiment. “Tfou 3lik” sounds like the band is playing in a burning auditorium where the force of their performance is simultaneously snuffing out the inferno around them and exacerbating structure flaws in the building’s foundation, causing it to sway like an old drunk. Lastly, “Al-Zuki Akbar” is a post-punky pummel that will wring you out like a wet towel full of blood and grease.

You can buy and stream Victory Belongs To Those Who Fight For A Right Cause below via Bandcamp:

Physical copies of this album are available through La Vidas Es Un Mus Discos but they are currently out of stock. You may want to check back later to see if they do another pressing.

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