Having been either away or working all hours to compensate for time spent away, I may be a bit late weighing in on the recent missive from the Impostume regarding Nazi black metal bands. For the most part I’m in agreement with his noble endeavour to be rigorously aesthetic as well as consistent in application of liberal principles – yes, Nazis have the right to air their views or create works of art just as the rest of us do, and yes, their art may indeed be great, in which case why should we not enjoy it? There are a couple of points I would like to take issue with, however, firstly with reference to his earlier piece on the Sardonic, which quite rightly points out that it is never only about the music, but the whole package. Which means that in the case of a band like Skrewdriver, for whom the, er, intensely politically engaged lyrics are an integral, if not the most important part, it is impossible to merely focus on the quality of the guitar sound, since this is not really what Skrewdriver are about. So whereas I can enjoy the work of raging anti-Semites such as Wagner, Céline or Public Enemy, who are for the most part (though not always) fairly circumspect and non-specific about their racist views in their art, Skrewdriver lyrics like “remember Crystal Night” (clearly meant in a positive sense) make them impossible for me to stomach, and I don’t feel too many pangs of guilt about my lack of aesthetic rigour here.
In addition to that though, Skrewdriver, as well as the Norse metal chest-beaters, do make it rather easier for me. I have to say personally I find the goat’s blood drinking Satanists way too silly to pay any attention to, and from the little I’ve heard vastly inferior to bands like Slayer or Sepultura, more like diminishing returns on Venom, if it’s possible to imagine a more diminished product. As for Skrewdriver, not only does it strike me as morally misguided trying to like their music, but also an aesthetic non-starter. Have you heard them? They’re utterly fucking dull! Sure, it’s well known that in their original, pre-Nazi incarnation they were a run-of-the-mill punk band, hanging out with the likes of the Damned, Motorhead and particularly Madness, but even then they were hardly musically or lyrically groundbreaking. And once race warriors they attempted to distance themselves from punk and oi!, having “matured” into proponents of White Power music. Great. “
Skrewdriver fans reckon their singer was murdered by the Jewish-run British secret services by the way. Yeah, I’m sure they got James Bond (James Schickelgruber?) himself to do it, I mean in the early 90s there was a real threat of hardcore Nazis (as opposed to the softie BNP or NF, who Donaldson dismissed as “Nutty Fairies” – fair point actually) taking over Britain wasn’t there? He wasn’t merely preaching to a dwindling band of converted and extremely marginalised misfits then? Or perhaps murdered by rival Nazis, as was the case when Combat 18 all turned on each other, over money so it turns out? (surely a