Black Army Jacket – 222 (Magic Bullet)


Until today, I’d never heard Black Army Jacket. They were, and are, one of those mythical bands whose name I used to read in Maximum Rock’n’Roll with frightening regularity and who the older folks in the scene used to talk about in hushed and reverential tones in whispered conversations that they hoped us “younger” types wouldn’t hear, because if we did, we might start listening to them and that would instantly make them ‘uncool’. And what made it even worse, was that I couldn’t get my hands on their records no matter how hard I tried. I couldn’t find them in any of my usual vinyl dealers or underground emporiums, and both times I tried ordering direct from their label (back in the days before PayPal and the internet when you had to stuff cash into an envelope, send it off and hope for the best), nothing turned up. I was either ripped off, the letters went missing or some postman somewhere had an afternoon in his favourite bar on my hard earned moolah.  Who knows what happened.  But if I had to guess, I’d lay odds on the last option being the most likely.

Now, almost twenty years later, I’ve finally been able to spend a couple of hours with this, in my mind at least, legendary band and their music. So was it worth waiting more than two decades to hear them? You’re kidding right? Of course it was. 222 is a blistering, lightning quick collection of punishing Hardcore brutality that’ll tear your face off, swallow your eyeballs, piss in the empty sockets, whisper sweet nothings in your ear and encourage you to play “Frogger” in fast flowing traffic while wearing broken roller-skates. Black Army Jacket sound just as good as I hoped, and dreamed, they would. In fact they sound better, as age has allowed me to get over the crushing early twenty something disappointment I felt when, back in the day, their records never turned.  But the overwhelming question, the burning, pressing issue is this.  Are they worthy of the legendary status that my sometimes over-fertile imagination has conferred on them since their name first entered my subconscious? Oh hell yes, you’re goddamn* right they are… Tim Cundle

*No, I’m not taking the “Lord’s” name in vain. Because God doesn’t exist. He’s a fictional entity. Unlike Black Army Jacket. Who, by the way and in case you’re wondering, rule…

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