Freedom Fist are a three-man political movement who just so happen to play some of the hardest, catchiest hardcore punk possible.

Release date: October 14, 2022 | Roman Numeral Records | Facebook | Instagram | Bandcamp

Early July, my pal Eeli put me onto Scotland’s Freedom Fist with their new single “Union Rag”. It was one of the most propulsive and snappy punk songs I’ve heard in a long time – a reason to immediately keep all eyes on them, especially since they were to drop an album quite soon. Time passes and we’re given the opportunity to premiere their new track, “Shut It, You Unionist Cuck”, something I did with glee. After that, I knew I needed to hear this whole thing so to prepare, I rewatched some Tam McGleish videos and followed a Scottish meme page. It… didn’t really help, but let me tell you, this is one of the best hardcore punk albums of the year.

It wasn’t gonna take much for me to jump on board. Freedom Fist‘s anti-colonialist, anti-white supremacist, no-war-but-class-war stances are all quite agreeable for the discerning leftist looking to better our world by toppling the powers that be and their systems of oppression. Tories and fascists beware – this ain’t for you. Then again, you fuckers might still like it because tons of conservatives over here in America love Rage Against The Machine somehow. Cool, I guess. Get fucked either way.

Across 19 goddamn songs, Freedom Fist prove to be one of the most incendiary acts around, propelling all-caps tirades of political rustling where liberals and conservatives alike are obliterated – as they should be. They strike a perfect balance of catchiness, heaviness, speed, and delivering a good message with the subtlety of a boot to your domepiece. There’s really nothing quite like it. Drug problems, football hooliganism, royal family horseshit, and the issue of Scottish independence are all things covered explosively. Like, really, these songs might as well be piles of dynamite primed by the corrosive vocals, serrated guitars, and walloping drums. Beneath it all, you can feel Freedom Fist‘s deep love for their country and people, calling out its flaws and those that hold it back in hopes of uniting the working class to bang on the doors of the ruling class to demand a better Scotland. There’s hope behind the measured, loud hate.

The albums kicks off with droning, mournful bagpipes and spirited yells of ‘SAOR ALBA!‘, a Welsh/Scottish rallying cry for national independence from British rule. It literally makes my hair stand up hearing it the 28th time. From there, the song titles speak for themselves with wry humor or to-the-point thesis statements – “We Still Hate Thatcher”, “Scotland (We’re Fuckin’ Awesome)”, “Not Mah Queen”, and “Dae They Owe Us Our Freedom (Aye They Dae)” are just a few examples.

One of my favorites is “INDYREF2” a reference to a referendum proposed by the Scottish government that’s apparently been ongoing since 2014, and this the second attempt at such a referendum! The song itself is a reworking of The Exploited‘s song “UK 82“. Same moshable melodies, just given more weight with modern production and sludgier guitars than were normally used in classic punk music. It’s the best ‘cover’ of the song I’ve heard since Slayer and Ice-T absolutely murdered it in 1992.

“Union Rag” is another favorite with its chanting of ‘Tories Tories Tories, FUCK YOU‘ and unrelenting drums. Short and sweet, the track is only 49 seconds long, but in the right pit that’d be enough to get twisted like a pretzel. “I Love Violence” is a satirical takedown of our bloodlust where the only violence that sates is real-world violence with some immense urgency behind it.

George Romero, Eli Roth
Tarantino, fuck the lot
Urban streets and polis beats
This is where the violence breeds
Smash a glass and slash yer boss
I love violence, don’t we all?

If I had any critique of this self-titled album, it’s that it re-uses a handful of songs from their previous self-titled release – a pet peeve of mine. What ultimately makes it okay though is how much those songs have been upgraded in the sound and mix department. These are whole new recordings, with more little sound bites and samples before and after most songs to frame and contextualize them. The crystal clarity is not only friendlier for modern audiences, but ensures you don’t miss a fucking word they’re saying, because what good is a message if it’s drowned to hell? That said, if you like your extreme music abysmally produced with a live feel, the previous release might grind your gears in the right way. I’ll stick with the polish myself.

With only two songs that break the two-minute mark, this album’s a firestorm of righteous rage, one that could inspire younger generations to take heed of history’s ugliest moments, their inventions, and dismantle the shit out of them. After all, I think the way I do from listening to bands like Bad Religion, Anti-Flag, and Dead Kennedys when I was a wee lad, and their messages have only grown more salient and relevant with time. Freedom Fist should have their moment as they’ve crafted what could very well being a modern punk classic with its musicality as well as its message. Quite a feat for the first official LP of a band. This band deserves many more eyes and ears on them.


David Rodriguez

David Rodriguez

"I came up and so could you, and fuck the boys in blue" - RMR

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