The Underground (Harrison Center for the Arts)
Wednesday, May 23, 6:30 p.m., $10/$12, all-ages
Has there ever been a band more aptly named than Extreme Noise Terror?
Fans can find out for themselves when the notorious U.K. punk band with grind-metal leanings makes a rare appearance in Indianapolis.
It started in 1985 when a group of misfits with a fondness for Discharge, Rattus and Anti Cimex got together and started making their own brand of caustic rebellion under the banner Extreme Noise Terror.
“There was nobody around at that time in the U.K. playing such an abrasive hardcore punk sound with two extreme vocalists,” says ENT co-vocalist Phil Vane.
The band got a record deal following its first gig. But it was legendary BBC DJ John Peel’s playing of ENT that catapulted the group. Vane, though, believes any success gleaned from Peel’s endorsement was temporary.
“It’s like anything really,” he says. “Once that interest wanes and the ‘trend’ has passed, you are then left with the hardcore [following], which is what it’s really about.”
Despite its decidedly non-commercial sound, ENT has shown a resiliency largely devoid in other bands. This even with repeated lineup changes (including once featuring members of kindred spirits Napalm Death).
“For us it’s a genuine desire and love to play our music and have our say,” Vane says. “It’s an honest belief that not many bands have. The ones who do are still around and never went away. It’s not a passing trend or something to do whilst we’re young. [I’m] in it for life I guess.”
If anything’s changed as members have aged, it’s having a wisdom culled from experience. Vane and ENT founder Dean Jones are more introspective now when it comes to lyrics. But that doesn’t mean the state of the world no longer offers inspiration.
“I am constantly amazed at the stupidity and self-obsessive nature of the human race,” Vane says. “I am known for being a misanthrope, so it’s an endless struggle, but good material for lyrics.”