COMBATE BRUTAL SPECIAL: Interview & reviews on Asas Da Vingança and Falcata
Combate Brutal is a brand new, Portuguese label run by Luís Rattus – a well-known figure in the Oi!, punk and hardcore scene for his work with Crise Total, Atlantes, Facção Opposta and of course Albert Fish and Sandro of Bigorna Records. More recently Rattus announced Combate Brutal and its first two releases are already a fact! Fellow countrymen Asas Da Vingança and Falcata had the honor to be the first two bands released by Combate Brutal, both still relatively new bands (Falcata at least) – but also bands that shouldn’t be no strangers to your ears anymore!
Before I go deeper into each individual release, I’d like to compliment Luís for the look and design he gave to his first two releases with Combate Brutal! Both releases are limited to 200 copies (hand-numbered) - plus an additional 20 testpressings - and each release has 100 copies in either black or Bordeaux red colored artwork. With the artwork printed on thick carton, these records don’t come in your usual sleeve, but do contain a separate lyric sheet, as well as a printed inner sleeve. Of course this is something you (might) have seen before (Bigorna Records, obviously), but it still gives Combate Brutal’s releases a unique feel, but also an ‘uniform’ – and I think it looks great!
But let's talk about the music now!
Asas Da Vingança – Sangue Lusitano
Stomping the streets of Faro since 2012, Asas Da Vingança is already up to its third, individual release - entitled “Sangue Lusitano”. Keeping in mind that the band’s last 7” “Botas Gastas (b/w Classe Criminal)” dates back to 2015 already, it took the lads a good while to come up with a new single. Therefor it is somewhat disappointing that “Sangue Lusitano” is indeed - ‘just a single’ (two tracks), but when it’s a case of quality over quantity you won’t hear me complain!
Because in Asas Da Vingança’s case it’s definitely a matter of quality over quantity, these guys deliver the goods over and over again, although in small portions at a time. Sure, kicking things off with a soundbite of A Clockwork Orange is cliché, but it immediately sets the tone for the track that occupies the A-side of this slab of wax, namely “Nao Queremos Saber”. Translating to “We Don’t Wan’t To Know”, the song errupts in some of that good old ultra-violence with buzzsaw guitars, pounding drums, melodic riffs and powerful (gang) vocals.
Great stuff, but the Faro-boys absolutely rip it up with title-track “Sangue Lusitano” on the B-side. Straight after the countdown the band shreds into this song like there is no tomorrow with a combination of hard, rockin’ guitarsounds, a strong, addictive melody and an explosive chorus! Definitely my favorite track of the two and perhaps my favorite anthem by Asas Da Vingança in general!
Hopefully a full-length, or at least more, will follow sooner than later, because this Portuguese force continue to deliver ripper after ripper!
Falcata – Forged In Blood
Kickin’ down the fuckin’ doors since late 2015, Falcata surprised friend and foe early 2016 with their excellent, self-titled debut EP for Bigorna Records (7”) and Zerowork Records (CD). Now the lads and lasses from Lisbon – who are operating as a four-piece outfit these days – are back with their second EP, “Forged In Blood”, for Combate Brutal and they’re even sounding stronger and better than ever before!
Because HO-LY SHIT, does “Forged In Blood” sound good! I’ve probably listened 50 times (most likely more) to this EP already and I just simply can’t get enough of these three new tracks! They’ve put so much power and energy into these songs that I simply got tired of flipping this 7” over and over again and just downloaded the damn thing!
Opener “Barbarians Rising” sounds just like the title suggests, barbaric! The brutal vocals, the pounding drums, the dark and threatening sounding back-up vocals, the explosive chorus... – this track is a beast! But despite Falcata’s whole new level of savagery, the band’s sound is still catchy as hell and thanks to the fact that all lyrics are in English you’ll be singin’ and stompin’ along all day long! Especially the next anthem “Mr. Know It All” is completely smashing it up due to its recognizable lyrics (because yes, we all know a fucker or two like that...) and the smart use of Inês’ and Bruna’s (Falcata’s better half) back-up vocals – making it an instant hit!
And that was just the A-side! Because on the flipside you’ll find “Forged In Blood”, another barn burner that will make your eardrums ring! Combining all of the above into a single song, the title-track of this slab of wax is a tough as nails hymn with a touch of that rock 'n' roll rhythm to it, destroying everything and everyone in sight!
Smashing Rock 'n' Oi! from Portugal, make sure to grab a copy! This might just be my favorite EP of the year! Killer!
And what is a 'special' without a little Q&A? Exactly, not much! Therefor I sent Luís a short interview which you can read below!
Hi Luís, how are you? Thanks for taking the time to answer a few of my questions! First things first, when and why did you decide to start up Combate Brutal?
Top, how are you mate? Combate Brutal is a team of two persons, me and San, that also runs Bigorna Records. We are long time friends and had work together in this kind of stuff since we made our band Gume and released different versions of the 7” in Bigorna and in my label Zerowork Records. Beside that, he also released other bands where I play like Facção Opposta, Atlantes or Pulhas (delayed record coming out before the end of the year), or did the artworks for those and other of my projects. We are in the same wave when we talk about bands or releases, so we had talk about joining forces and starting something together, a long time ago... and this time we finally did it, and you now can see the result for yourself.
There are quite some Oi! labels out there obviously, how are you going to make Combate Brutal stand out from the rest, or at least most, of the other labels?
We want to personalize every record we put out in the street. Artwork and quality covers are something San take from Bigorna and we want that all editions stay nice collectable items (it’s not Bigorna releases, but you won’t be disappointed, we took care of detail). We press the records in the pressing plant, but we normally use local printers to make the rest of the artwork, in a way the result it’s like professional craft DIY spirit. The back & insert artwork are gonna be a bit straightforward & formatted in all editions with a bit of that 80’s feeling that we all like, inspired in some well known labels from that era. The covers and some stuff on the insert will be personalised for each band. All records will be black with silver Pantone labels & big hole like in the old good days. And always 200x records editions divided in 100x black & white covers with white/inside black personalised label inner sleeves, and the other 100x colour & white covers (or different cover), covers with black/inside white personalised label inner sleeves. Although the covers will be just one colour each version and will look “simple”, it will be a small offset run printed in nice papers and not some digital printing crap like a lot of labels do these days.
But beside that, we do what we do, for our own fun & pleasure, and for the love we have with the Oi! and Skinhead underground scene. We do records as we imagine we would like to buy them basically.
Your first two releases, for Asas Da Vingança and Falcata, are a fact! How did these releases got together? Are you proud of the result?
We release it together because it was the timing for both… and also that way, we could save on shipping from the pressing plant. And also buyers can save if they want both. We are proud of the result, and fortunately people, blogs and fanzines are giving us good feedback.
Both releases are strictly limited to just 200 copies and each release has two cover variations of 100 copies each. Is this your intention with every future release, or will you perhaps key up future releases to a higher count?
For now it will be always that way, yes, like said above. Who knows in the future we have some bigger releases… let’s see.
Up next is the last full-length of Facção Opposta (“Da Luz À Obscuridade”) that finally gets the vinyl treatment! Can you tell me how that will come out (design, artwork, etc...)?
Well, the record is already at pressing plant. Basically it will be an amplified reflex to the 12” of the original 7” inches. They will be also be 200x copies in black vinyl with silver labels and with the “same” two personalised label inner sleeves, like we did with the 7” inches, divided for half the records. Artwork will be similar with the original, with 100x covers in black and the other 100x in blue or green, we haven’t decided yet.
Is it mandatory for bands on Combate Brutal to be from Portugal, or at least speak Portuguese? What are your future plans for the label?
No. For us it is a pleasure to have Portuguese bands, even if they don´t sing in Portuguese, like in the case of Falcata that sing in English. But it is our idea to release some foreign bands also. We just need to really like the bands we release. For the future we have some ideas, let’s see what happens, but for now we have confirmed: A remastered retrospective 7” EP from Núcleo Duro, with an unreleased song, and a “repress” in 12” format of the instant classic, Gume EP “Lisboa”.
As long as we still have time, patience and fun drinking good beer & listening to those Ol’ good classics while gluing the inner sleeves/numbering or assembling the records, you all can hope for more releases...
Alright, that’s it! Thanks for your time. If you have anything to add, feel free to do so!
Thanx for your interest in our label, and the help promoting it, we really appreciate that. Take care and keep the faith! Fuck mainstream & just feed the underground beast!
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One more shot of both releases I received. The fact that the Falcata 7" misses a print on the labels is a misprint (on just 20 copies) and not a testpressing.