Abaddon magazine

Music magazine

Friday, August 19, 2022

Review: Atheist Rap – Live in Das Bach, Wien 2016

Label: Self released

Date: May 22nd, 2021

When we speak about bands whose international success was hindered by the simple fact that they sing in their native language, Atheist Rap must be at the very top of the ladder. Saying that, I must add that it would be very nice if more people understood Serbian language, because the band would lose way too much of their appeal if they simply translated their lyrics.

Fortunately, Serbia is such a shitty country so Atheist Rap is able to have a European tour just from playing for the exiled Serbian punks. As demonstrated on a couple of singalong moments on this live album, recorded in Vienna, five years ago.

Now, the response from the foreign crowd, if there was some, is unknown to me. Though one must agree the music this quartet (quintet on this occasion) performs can be inviting for everyone whose heart does the pogo beat. It is a combination of the best punk has to offer. Be it pure punk rock, ska punk, hardcore or even new wave. With an addendum. And that is the fact that Atheist Rap is on the overly “mainstream” side of the story.

What I mean by that is that most of these tunes are quite catchy and could remind you of the more popular bands that often get spat upon by “true” punks. Speaking of the 1990’s O.C. scene here. Only, the attitude remains on “the true” side, even if spiced by the irresistible native humor that is simply untranslatable. Unfortunately, as I’m absolutely certain it would crack you up if you only understood what is being said here. Even between the songs.

Look at it as a small Serbian payback to many German bands’ live recordings from their own festivals where they insist on speaking the native language even when they know it will be recorded and released.

It is somewhat interesting to note that a band once nicknamed “one with more live shows than rehearsals” hasn’t got more live recordings released. Especially with over three decades of existence. For that timeframe, Atheist Rap doesn’t have all that many official albums either. Just six of them. And no, there was no break in their activity.

However, when you place their biggest hits on one list, such as present on “Live in Das Bach, Wien 2016”, it is apparent they put quality in front of quantity. Speaking from experience, the show could have been at least half an hour longer and it would still be an incredible “best of” compilation. Even with the cover song removed. Though it shouldn’t be, since the various covers have long been an integral part of Atheist Rap’s set.

For the very end of this weird review, let me just write down that this live album is available for free download from the band’s Bandcamp page. So, if you feel intrigued and would like to get to know one of the best punk acts in Serbia, here’s a chance. You can even try to use an online translator for the lyrics, though it may turn out ever weirder. In any case, the choice is yours.