YACØPSÆ — Sanitys Dawn / Yacøpsæ (review)

YACØPSÆ — Sanitys Dawn / Yacøpsæ album cover Split · 2003 · Grindcore Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Vim Fuego
17 March 2019. Today was supposed to be a happy day. Today I was supposed to see two of my favourite bands, of which I have been a fan for 30 years. Unbelievable as it may have seemed in 1989, Slayer and Anthrax were coming to Christchurch, my nearest city! The city where I work. The city where I was educated. The city where I have lived so much of my life.

It is also St. Patrick’s Day. Even though Patrick is my real name and I’m far from a saint, it’s not a day for celebration. Today is not a day for happiness.

Slayer and Anthrax are not coming. I am not going to a concert. I am not going to hear some of my favourite songs performed live. I am not going to feel that incredible, uplifting experience of an insane mosh pit with hundreds of like-minded people. This is not the reason for the lack of happiness. It would be selfish and trivial to express anger or sadness just because of a cancelled concert.

Two days ago, on 15 March 2019, an unspeakable act of mindless terrorism ripped my city apart. A hate-filled thug took it upon himself to try to start a war, either religious or racial, but completely pointless. He murdered 50 people peacefully at prayer.

50 of our people.

50 people with families, friends, workmates.

50 people with hopes, aspirations, dreams.

50 people.

50 lives.

50.

This is still unfathomable. Unbelievable. How could it happen here? This is a city which has endured earthquakes in the past. How much more does a city need to suffer? Many of those murdered were refugees, escaping war or religious intolerance in their own shattered homes – Somalia, Fiji, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Kuwait. These people had resettled here, supposedly because New Zealand is a peaceful country, free from religious persecution and violence.

No longer.

A cowardly white supremacist piece of shit deliberately targeted Christchurch’s peaceful, valued Muslim community. He murdered people at prayer in their mosques, simply because of their religion and the colour of their skin. He murdered helpless, defenceless people. Women. Children. Elderly. I know. I have seen this atrocity. This animal filmed himself shooting defenceless people. No one should see members of their community murdered, but I watched this video because there should be those who bear witness to this crime so it will not be forgotten. It is the most disgusting, disturbing thing I have ever seen. It won’t be forgotten, because I won’t forget.

At a time of despair like this, it’s hard to know what to do and how to cope with it. I am lucky, because I have a loving family around me. But still, how do you cope with your own thoughts? I have taken out some of the feelings of helplessness and frustration through physical activity – a chainsaw is a great physical outlet. But still, sometimes you just need to see something positive or cheerful, just to try to lift your spirits. Sitting at my computer I can see some things I like, which help. There are posters on my wall – Iron Maiden, Metallica, Ronnie James Dio, Stallone and Snipes in Demolition Man. There are two plastic dinosaurs on my desk, a reminder of my brother’s wedding three weeks ago. And there are CDs I have left lying on my desk, some of my favourite things. There’s Edvard Grieg’s “Peer Gynt”, a cheap old Jasper Carrott album, Lou Reed and Metallica’s “LuLu” (I don’t care what anyone else thinks, it’s a comfort to me) a seven disc set of The 12th Man, a Slap-A-Ham compilation called “Fiesta Comes Alive”, “Van Halen I”, “Pure…metal” (which is pure shit!), and the one which really cheered me – “Yacøpsæ/Sanitys Dawn”.

So why did this help? Simple. The Yacøpsæ cover. It has a picture of a small child and a baby chimpanzee holding hands. It’s a symbol of unity and friendship. It’s what split records are all about. Different but the same, and together make a single entity. (Admittedly, the Sanitys Dawn cover on the other side has a picture of a policeman being kicked in the head, but I don’t have to look at that.)

And the music is a cheering thing too. Sanitys Dawn kick the album off with their raucous crust/grind sound. This is simple, angry aggressive music. And despite some English song titles, it’s mostly in German, so I have no fucking clue what’s going on! No matter. Guitarist Matthias has a great line in simple, huge sounding riffs. Vocalist Topsy has a bleeding throat screech type of vocal style. Even when he’s screeching in English, he’s incomprehensible. Bassist Prandy contributes vocals on some tracks too, like a rough edged oi punk. Don’t worry – you can’t understand him either!

There is a lyric sheet, which helps well… very little. It looks as if the English language songs have been translated to German, with little knowledge of English. The song “How To Live” has lines like “Sent to jail, you’re non-conform/Fuck the sense of life/Manmade situations/Guilty for this shit you see”. Incomprehensible, angry, and incredibly powerful.

“Act Like Me Or Die” is rabidly anti-American foreign policy. “Call The Garbage Collection” is against manufactured pop music. No “Fed Up” it seems the band are fed up with people who talk shit, like the Pope and hippies.

After 11 tracks of Sanitys Dawn’s noise and chaos, you come to Yacøpsæ, which is, unbelievably, noisier and more chaotic. This incredibly powerful three piece unit look like mild-mannered accountants or computer programmers, but produce some of the most violent noise on the planet.

Stoffel’s guitars seem to rip holes in the space/time continuum, crushing but clear. His vocals are a constant shriek, with little variation, but why change something when it works that well?

Yacøpsæ don’t even bother to try to translate their lyrics. The band are not fluent in English, and have stated very plainly that subtleties of meaning are often lost in translation. You want to know what they are saying? Learn German.

Frank has an incredibly dirty bass sound, which would make Shane Embury envious. Emu’s drums are like a high speed, turbo charged combine harvester. The band’s sound is so massive it’s hard to imagine there are only three of them.

The songs are blast after blast of barely controlled chaos, purportedly covering a number socially aware topics (I don’t know specifically, but it looks like it!), and not a single track even reaches a minute and a half.

This little split is 23 tracks, all over in 31 minutes. It is wonderful, rowdy, positive violence as music. It smashes through your brain and drives out all else.

Then it ends. Cold reality comes back.

So fuck you, you worthless murdering racist piece of shit. You aren’t going to break those of us who are left. We will remember those you took.

And thank you Sanitys Dawn and Yacøpsæ for a small distraction at a time when I needed some comfort.
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