Saturday, September 15, 2012

The South African Punk Movement

The following is the first article submitted by Samantha L. Thomas. Her passion for world travel is perhaps only matched by her love of punk rock. In this initial post, she covers the underground punk rock scene in South Africa, and in particular, the band Hog Hoggidy Hog. -Ed.

Discovering South African Punk Rock from the Heart of the Czech Republic

Two years ago South African Punk rock was uncharted territory for me. To be blunt I never even knew the movement existed until Keith Jones Punk in Africa happened. It was summer 2010, I was 24 and I had just returned to Prague for a four week internship.  Little did I know where this would take me, now here I am writing about a genre of music that has attached itself tightly to my blood cells. In the weeks to come I hope to expose all of you to the sounds, faces and ideas that revolve around a musical subculture that remains unknown to the majority of the western world.

So what does South African punk rock sound like? Who creates it? Why should people in the Western world embrace it?  With the help of artists, documentary makers and South African punk rock bands themselves, these questions will not only be answered, they shall be explored.

Hog Hoggidy Hog is a South African punk band that has heavy elements of early SKA and heavy guitar riffs with lyrics that undeniably South African; singing about issues such as Apartheid, human rights, social injustices and life in South Africa amidst the political shifts of the late 1980s and early 1990s.  South African punk rock is fast, heavy, loud. Passionate-musical movements like these are dying quickly around the world, nevertheless Hog Hoggidy Hog keeps them flowing and doesn’t miss a beat. From heavy brass and high tempo drum beats H.H.H has it all. Keeping true to the concept of “punk” the music is intense and rebellious, with each song carrying similar rhythms and tempos while lyrics being diverse and profound. Hog Hoggidy Hog’s lyrics are poetry placed on high doses of speed.

In their most recent works the listener can hear hints of reggae tone and heavy metal; the combination of these very different sounds has set HHH apart from the rest. While South African punk cannot be compared to British or early American punk rock, the sounds resonate emotion, defiance, rebellion and everything that GREAT punk rock is. To rebel, to resist and to Fuck The Man.  With storytelling lyrics and heavy horn HHH has a sound and authenticity that cannot be purchased-the stories in which HHH tells are first accounts of life in South Africa during some extremely challenging times.  HHH’s earlier music delivers freedom to a young subculture that wanted to defy and lacked opportunity to do so. Among the many South African Punk bands, HHH has guided and paved the way for many musicians to follow their artistic dreams and defy the common nomenclature of what “good music” is.

-Written by Samantha L. Thomas


Pertinent Links:

Hog Hoggidy Hog Official

Hog Hoggity Hog Facebook




Anonymous said...

depends on what you classify as punk as south african punk rock has had a cult following since late 70's,google wild youth,powerage,screaming foetus,and thats just from durban