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Sunday, August 14, 2022

Review: HFMN Crew – 20 Years Sampler

Label: HFMN

Date: December 17th, 2021

Back when I was a kid, way back in the cassette tape days, I used to hate it when I give a blank tape to a friend of mine and he only dubs something like 70 minutes of music onto a 90 minute tape. In those days, when any minute of new, unheard music was worth its weight in gold, especially in Serbia, struck with UN sanctions and, later on, NATO bombing, when reaching new music was next to impossible, it was a deadly sin.

Somehow, those traumas of young age persevered into my adult life. So you can imagine my dismay upon learning that this sampler doesn’t even get to half point of a CD’s capacity. I mean, sure, this is also pressed onto a 12” vinyl, where it fits much better, but I opted for a half empty CD. And you can’t quite burn more tracks onto a CD, like I dubbed on those tapes back in the day.

To make matters even more confusing for me, this release celebrates the twenty years anniversary of one of the most representative punk labels in Europe, but there’s basically twelve tracks on the CD that are all fairly recent, or unpublished. Perhaps the label could’ve done some history lessons on the rest of the empty space. It would’ve come in handy, not only for me, but for possible fans to get acquainted with the rest of the label’s catalogue.

Still, let’s leave that for the thirty years sampler. I have yet to congratulate this Spanish label on a remarkable feat of staying alive for two whole decades, doing a phenomenal job on pushing independent bands further than they could’ve imagined.

I bow to you!

As for the bands present here, there are twelve of them, scattered all over Europe and all over the wide punk spectrum. From rockabilly to grindcore and basically everything in between. Some of them are better known, like the French powerhouse Lion’s Law or the label’s local heroes La Inquisicion. Others are not so well established, yet offer a fine glimpse into their abilities. Aside of Deadyard who recorded a cover of “Sabotage”.

The tracks on the compilation do have substance. Whether you’re a fan of particular style or not, matters of personal taste aside, there are some great tunes on this CD. At this very point, I’m adoring Talco with their brass section. Buster Shuffle with a tune sticking it to the employers. Bad Co. Project are also awesome!

There are some melodies, some aggression, a bit of fun and dance and all of it quite socially conscious. All in all, there are twelve bands on here that deserve further attention. Not to mention that this is a grand way to familiarize yourself with a bunch of bands you can order all on one place. That way you will save some money on shipping and make your collection much richer.

As far as I’m concerned, my love of compilations is well documented. This one, though lacking about forty minutes, I will still hold dear. In particular because I’ve found a number of bands I really started appreciating.

Good job on this selection and once again congratulations to HFMN on this jubilee. And many more…