Legion of Parasites:
Another Disaster CD (Overground)
I had very close associations with this band back in the 1980s and early 90s, and it was my germ of an idea that has seen the release of this CD.
Legion Of Parasites (LOP) were a UK thrash band, who appeared on various punk compilation albums in and around 1988. They went on to release the Undesirable Guests 12" on the Mortarhate label, followed by two albums: The Prison Of Life and Dawn To Dusk. They also released Man Made Filth on CD.
LOP grew in popularity after the release of their second demo and went on to play gigs with the likes of Conflict, Subhumans, Mau Maus, Anti Sect, Broken Bones, etc. Although, part of the active punk thrash scene, they were never major players, and mainly acted as support acts for the aforementioned bands.
So it is with mixed feelings that I come across this CD. It really is a compilation of 26 tracks that features the first part of the band's existence. I am mildly surprised that they have decided to include the first demo, as it was recorded in a cheap studio using very cheap equipment and instruments. The
lyrical content is naive, and songs about fighting the system and nuclear war were very much influenced by bands from the Crass label. However, the music is raw, and the songs capture the growing disillusionment with living in Thatcher's Britain, with tracks such as Glue and Boredom. After the first demo,
LOP matured as a band, bought better equipment, gigged more, wrote better songs and added a second guitarist in Gibbo (who sadly killed himself last year).
The sound developed and the band were now one of the fastest, thrash(ish) bands playing in the UK. The remaining tracks on this CD, show that the band had turned into a tight unit, and Sean's songwriting abilities had taken on a darker side in songs such as Death Watch and Death in the City. I suppose LOP's
best known song is Sea of Desecration which appeared on the We Don't Want Your Fucking War compilation. Towards the beginning of the '90s UK punk scene was flagging, and the influence of crossover bands such as DRI, Metallica, Holy Terror, etc,
was taking hold. As such the scene changed, and LOP tried to change too, by taking a more 'metal thrash' approach to their songs. I think this was a major mistake, as their later recorded material wasn't of a good enough standard to make the grade. The band eventually fell apart. Wag the drummer joined Sick
On The Bus for a while, Cian the singer played bass with goth rockers The Nephilm, and Sean played guitar in a ska band. Cain now has his own musical project, The Saints Of Eden, which is an industrial, goth metal outfit.
This CD is a raw, thrash masterpiece of timeless UK punk. So much of the US Epitaph puke that is served up to us today as 'punk' is nothing but bubble wrapped crud composed by fat rich Americans with nothing to say. They should all sit down and listen to this. It may be decidedly dodgy in places but for me,
UK bands like LOP, Six Minute War, Mau Maus, Subhumans, Flux Of Pink Indians, Crass, and all the fanzines, squats, demos, bootlegging live gigs kept the DIY ethos of the punk spirit alive.
(By Justin Time)