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1936: the Spanish Revolution - EP

The Ex

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In 1986, the Dutch anarchist punk group the Ex marked the 50th anniversary of the Spanish Revolution (in which factions led by two anarchist trade unions, the CNT and the FAI, waged a successful revolt against Franco's fascist leadership, until Franco defeated the people's forces with the help of German, Italian, and Russian troops) with the release of 1936: The Spanish Revolution. This ambitious release paired four songs on two 7" singles with an impressive 144-page hardcover book that featured several short essays on the revolution, along with a remarkable collection of photographs taken by journalists aligned with the revolutionary forces. If the book is hardly the final word on the Spanish Revolution, it's a powerful and enlightening visual document that casts a fresh light on a major historical event little understood in the United States. In many ways, the book is such a strong piece of work that the music which accompanies it nearly pales in comparison, though it certainly finds the Ex in excellent form. The lyrics to all four songs were adapted from songs and essays by leaders of the 1936 revolt, with two in Spanish and two in English; on "El Tren Blindado," the band even trades in their traditionally jagged electric guitar sound for an acoustic arrangement that approaches the tone of Spanish folk music. Rabble-rousing has always been high on the Ex's list of priorities, and this music — especially the passionate "They Shall Not Pass" and "People Again" — find them inviting the spirit of the revolution as if it occurred five minutes ago, not 50 years past. It's heady, powerful stuff. This remarkable package was reissued in 1998, with the two 7" singles replaced by a pair of 3" CD's, and it's well worth seeking out for students of radical history as well as followers of passionate, uncompromising rock & roll.

Biografía

Fecha de formación: Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1979

Género: Alternativa

Años de actividad: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Playing a hybrid of punk to advance their liberal socialist agenda (serving as the rough equivalent of a Dutch Crass), the Ex put out reams of records and propaganda during the '80s — each released on a different Dutch label — but in the '90s began to embrace industrial forms of percussion and improvisation more in line with Einstürzende Neubauten and Test Dept. Formed in the late '70s, the group debuted at the turn of the decade with Disturbing Domestic Peace. The year 1983 was...
Biografía completa
1936: the Spanish Revolution - EP, The Ex
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