If you know me personally, it's no surprise that I'm writing about who I consider to be the best/most important/over the top band going right now: DER TPK. I grew up in a small suburban town ordered records out of Maximum Rock N' Roll in the early/mid 90's like some other mid-20 somethings I associate with, considering outlets for punk rock were few and far between in the stale Northeast region I called home (little did I know about Newbury Comics being an hour away). There was however a store a town away called The Lost Chord. The two weird owners stocked a nice selection of broken guitars, cassette tapes, punk CD's, records and DRI backpatches. They even had Guns N Roses pillows in the window display! The first record I bought there was an Exploited LP. I thought it was terrible and gave it to a friend. The second time I went in I purchased Crass' "Christ: The Album" on CD, but while flipping through the many discs I found some Skrewdriver albums. Could this be THEE Skrewdriver I had heard so much about? I mean these guys openly were nazis. I was shocked, uncomfortable, excited, nervous... interested even. I still opted for the Crass but brought tales of said Skrewdriver discs back to friends who had turned from punk rock to the working class Skinhead image and thought it'd be a good idea to go pick those discs up. Thirty seconds into hearing "White Rider", I was glad it wasn't me that wasted eighteen bucks on an import Skrewdriver album and went back to playing "The Greatest Working Class Rip Off" over and over again in my bedroom convinced it was the best song I had ever heard. But I won't forget those feelings holding that disc in my hands gave me. Shit was like a drug.
Fast forward to 2007, as I see the TPK 7" Skulltones released hanging on the wall. Besides having the greatest band name I'd heard in a long time, I couldn't help but noticed the imagry used for the cover and wondered "wait... are these guys nazis too?" I got echoes of those same feelings cruising through my body, transporting me back to being thirteen years old. All of that was shattered away when I finally picked up "Harmful Emotions" and let it bash my head in. Had Warsaw moved to Germany in their humble beginnings and recorded an album in an old war bunker before they became the most important band in the world? Probably not, but whoever these guys were I wanted more. It might have taken a while but "Games For Slaves" was worth the wait. The recording quality varies with a better production on most of the songs than on previous releases, while still maintaining a raw, cold take on early post punk. I worship any record that can make me feel good and bad simuletaneously, pushing my most awkward and uncomfortable emotions to the forefront while still allowing me to enjoy a great song.
A few weeks back I DJ'd a bar on Sunday because some friends needed a third. I put on my favorite song from "Games For Slaves" since too many people were dancing to the selections I had picked by Talking Heads and Blitz. Instead of making everyone run for the door, they danced like drunken fools, maybe even more into it than moments before. So in the end this record is good for not only making you hate how you feel in your own skin but also to dance to while shitfaced on a Sunday night before a hard weeks work selling shit on eBay.