It’s difficult to summarise in the space of a small album review – especially whilst having to talk about said album too – just how important Discharge is as a band. They invented a genre for a start – d-Beat – but besides that there were few bands plying their trade in the world of extreme music from the mid ‘80s onwards who didn’t owe some sort of sonic debt to this Stoke-on-Trent, UK-based outfit.
Disensitise, originally released in 2006 and now reactivated for your listening pleasure by Candlelight Records, sees the band at their primitive, primal best. Fed up with flirting with heavy metal, Disensitise sees the band returning to its roots for a set that more than makes up in fury what it loses in finesse. As ever guitarist Bones is central to what goes on here, his filthy riffage propelling every song with a sort of simplistic fury you just don’t hear that often any more. He’s no slouch as a soloist (go and listen to his work with crossover icons Broken Bones for proof if you don’t believe me), but for Disensitise he’s stripped his technique back to a thrashing strum that is, for want of a better phrase, punk as fuck.
Original vocalist Cal is sadly long gone, however his broken howl of a voice is replaced (and never aped) by vocalist Rat (who also fulfils the same role with fellow UK punk travellers The Varukers), with the result being an exceptionally fine slab of brutal, simplistic punk rock.