Date: November 11, 2022
Format: 12″ LP
Labels: Upstartz Records, Refuse Records
02. Organize Now
04. Von Zeit zu Zeit
07. Kein Weg raus
08. Loser Kids
09. Alles vergeht
12. Three Chords
Music and lyrics by Schwach, additional lyrics on Tristesse by Jésus and Erik
Backups by Lise, Florian, Dalle, Ansgar, Georg, Berch and Schwach
Additional vocals on Gedankenpalast by Pan (Bad Affair)
Additional vocals on Tristesse by Jésus (Acuerdo), Erik Anarchy and Esben (Modern Love)
Saxophone on Gedankenpalast, Loser Kids and Tristesse by Horia Dumitrache
Music recorded by Falk and Role at Tonmeisterei, Oldenburg in December 2021
Vocals recorded by Daniel in the middle of nowhere in January 2022
Additional vocals and instruments recorded in Oslo, Hamburg, Berlin and Madrid between January and March 2022
Mixed and mastered by Brian at Salad Days Studios, Baltimore in April 2022
Schwach has been around for almost ten years now. In hardcore years that’s at least sixty: time to retire, or not? Six years after the first LP, „Kein Bock“, and over two years since the last sign of life – a split 7“ with Desarraigo from Colombia – the band now releases their second album, „Kälter“.
Ten years is a long time, not only for a hardcore band. When Schwach stood in their Berlin rehearsal room for the first time, Donald Trump was only a reality TV star, the most right-wing party in the Bundestag was the CSU and the letter combination COVID had no meaning for most of us. The guys in the rehearsal room were different, too. They were younger — in some cases, only in their early or mid-twenties. Today they are all in their thirties, and the lives they lead are, for most of them, completely different. More work, greater responsibility, less time for what really matters. And that’s exactly what „Kälter“ is about.
In the album’s twelve songs, Schwach talks about the attempt to remain true to oneself and critical of the prevailing conditions in a diverse and multi-layered way. The songs deal with political rage as well as personal loss and the strength it can give you when you feel that you are not alone: others feel the same way and are fighting in the same struggles. Be they on the barricades, on a stage, or in front of it. „Punk is still the coolest thing,“ it says in „Three Chords,“ the last song of the LP. But punk is more than just that. Punk, as Schwach lives it, is also a necessary corrective against the shittiness of the world and a charging cable for the battery of individual resistance.
The music is exactly what hardcore should be today if it wants to be more than cliché-ridden classic rock. At its core Schwach still plays nothing less than extremely pissed off youth crew hardcore. But around this core, the band builds something that goes far beyond the boundaries of standard hardcore. There are mid-tempo songs, guest vocals from friends from Oslo (Erik, Modern Love), Hamburg (Pan, Bad Affair) and Madrid (Jésus Acuerdo), and repeatedly genre-atypical sound colors.
Schwach 2022 sounds much more mature than Schwach 2013. Still, the band has not lost an ounce of its uncompromising anger and its exuberant energy. They have become older, maybe even grown-up. But they are still exactly the kind of hardcore band that this fucked-up, beautiful world needs.