2 Steps Into The Hardcore Punk Scene Of Poland (English Version)

Heatseeker Live

Recently the polish label RATEL RECORDS released the debut 7“ of the also polish hardcore punk band SNUFF OUT. Since the quality of this release is so magnificent, the time for me had come to dig deeper into the hardcore punk scene of our eastern neighbours.

In hindsight after my research I’m really asking myself why the idea hadn’t come to me bevore. The scene seemed to have grown incessantly during the last five years, completly unnoticed by most, because many bands, labels and clubs aren’t really known to us. This is what I want to change with this article. If you ask polish hardcore kids what is special about their scene you will mostly hear „We are a 100% antifascist hardcore scene“. Having this attitude is not natural in a country, which isn’t really known for its good external policy and that has been seethes in its domestic policy for a while now. Due to the aggressive appearance of many neonazis, racists or hooligans the hardcore scene of our neighbours goes beyond music. Apart from things like solidarity, loyalty and 100% support of the bands and locations, training collectively in self-defense groups is more and more high up on the agenda.
Simple lip services won’t do in ordner to be part of this. Bookers or bands which demonstrably have e.g. organised shows with nazi bands are excluded consistently, not only in the local area. Thus keeping hardcore nazi-free is the top priority of polish hardcore youth and damn, that is a good thing. Passion is written with a capital P, too, which the resulting in gigs looking like they are supposed to.


Visiting HC-concerts one can find skinheads, punks, hardcore kids, skater and other subgroups. Everyone is welcome, with the exception of misanthropists of course. No matter if you are in Warsaw, Posen, Cracow or Katowice, everyone is trying to stick together and turn the scene into a family.
But let’s get back to the music. As mentioned above, the current SNUFF OUT release LET IT GO made me want to extend my knowledge about the scene there. The quartett from Posen in the Greater Psnuffout-coveroland Voivodeship impresses with whirling hardcore punk sounds that are frustrated to the core and don’t need to hide from any german, UK- or US-based band. Especially the aggressive vocals and the awesome riffs are likely to stay in your ear for a while. With short songs which never exceed the two minute mark and sophisticated lyrics, the young polish have blossomed out to be one of the best bands at this time in their country. Let’s stay in Posen, a city which should be especially interesting for bands or bookers from eastern germany, because it is not that far away and is home to another band besides SNUFF OUT, which has been on the rise for quite a while, namely the hardcore punk/fastcore combo FIGHT THEM ALL.

fight-them-all-bandAlready in 2012, the guys have thrilled the polish scene with their DEMO. Having played a neat amount of shows and released two other records till today, FTA, the hardcore punks from Posen aren’t unknown anymore, at least not on a national level. With sounds somewhere between 80s HC and groovy, metallic riffs, these four confirm that hardcore from Posen stands for quality. Local bands need to play gigs and in Poland this is where it gets a little tricky. Many concerts need to be illegal and staged at abandoned places, for example in Lodz in the HOSPITAL UNIT, a vault in the tunnels of the biggest local hospital. Necessity begets ingenuity! In case you are up for staging a gig in Posen, or maybe just visiting a show, you should go see ROZBRAdiy-kolo-recordsT or the POD MINOGA, which is the local venue for concerts and hanging out.

FIGHT THEM ALL are under contract at the DIY underground label DIY KOLO RECORDS, and also REFUSE RECORDS, the probably biggest and best known distributor of punk and hardcore punk in Poland. This label exists for 23 years now and has acquired an excellent reputation for releases in the punk/hardcore/hardcore punk section. Besides FIGH THEM ALL one can purchase, e.g. a sound carrier of the spanish Youth Crew band APPRAISE and the german combo MINDTRAP. Even Poland’s most appreciated HC PUNK band at this time is under their contract.

I’m talking of GOVERMENT FLU, who are on a west coast tour through the United States right now, which should tell you everything about the quality of this band. With a lot of releases these guys should be a household name to one or the other hardcore fan from Germany. With raw, angry 80s HC-Punk à la BAD BRAINS, BLACK FLAG oder NEGATIVE APPROACH, the band from Warsaw can stoke up the crowd or even make it rage.

Government Flu

Being virtually in Warsaw right now; Here we can probably find the most aktiv and the biggest part of the polish Hardcore Punk scene, apart from Silesia. Along with well-known locations, such as Squat Przychodnia, which has been playing host to DIY shows for years or the Hydrozagadka, there is one location especially, one reads and hears about a lot and which is recommended frequently.
I’m talking about the CHUMRY, a club which gives you the chance to see bigger acts from the USA, UK and the rest of the world. It seems to be one of the most considered addresses in all of Poland in general when it comes to hosting punk concerts.chmury warsazw.jpg

heatseeker-coverAnother band from Warsaw is HEATSEEKER, which have made their third release recently, a PROMO TAPE with short, but expressive Hardcore Punk tracks, which just flush the brains out. Snappy vocals and thoroughly cracking instruments ensure that the scene can’t be imagined without them. This combo, which has, among others, also played with MENTAL REFUSE and INNER UNREST, should be kept and eye on for sure. Since the PROMO TAPE is of an high quality and because of their upcoming release the band can certainly expect another jump ahead. The physical sound carrier will be the first release of the still young label YOUTH 2 YOUTH RECORDS of which one can be excited to see which bands will drop a future release there in the future.

Another absolutely recommendable band from Warsaw is STREET LIGHTS whose sound reminded me of bands such as BENT LIFE or SOUL GROUND, due to their groove and their slow style of playing that is usually more present in metal. Anyway, the four of them are audibly pissed and frustrated! Especially in small, narrow locations these guys should be able to demolish neatly.

Glory Days

You can find a really awesome Oi!/Street Punk Band Warsaw, too, which is GLORY DAYS. There is three of them and they can deliver on anthem after the other, due to their melodic Oi!- Punk à la BISHOPS GREEN, which made the trio very popular and their shows always well-attended. I really didn’t expect to one day stumble over a good antifascist Oi! band from Poland! This makes me all the more happier with this find, because with melancholic guitar riffs and catchy vocals the Varsovians are quickly hogging their listeners. Their latest EP CHAOS RITE ist a sound carrier consisting of three earworms

So go for it! Another very cool locations ist das MELINA in Zalesie Górne ca. 19 kilometers (ca 12 miles) south of Warsaw. An old skate park and vast compound, in other words an ace location to stage shows and stuff. In case you are in Warsaw you absolutely need to check out the compound.
However, the MELINA CREW is not only responsible for shows and booking, but also ready with a small label which, for example, has released the SUICIDEBYCOP disc.
boredom-bookingSomeone who is planing a gig in Warsaw and its surroundings should definately get in touch with BOREDOM BOOKINGS, probably the hottest booking crew in Poland. Past shows boasted with such as HARMS WAY, BLIND AUTHORITY or VIOLENT REACTION, IMPLORE or ACxDC.

Someone who is planning a gig in Warsaw and its surroundings should definitely get in touch with BOREDOM BOOKINGS, probably the hottest booking crew in Poland. Past shows boasted with such as HARMS WAY, BLIND AUTHORITY or VIOLENT REACTION, IMPLORE or ACxDC.

North between Posen and Warsaw Torun, a wonderful town, is located, which produced two Hardcore combos who are absolutely worth listening. First, there is the 80’s HC-Punk band SUICDEYBYCOP , whose music rampages somewhere between skate sounds and frustrated punk. You shouldn’t turn your back on both of the guys‘ EPs, especially when you are skating yourself they should please you. Another well-known band from and around Torun and are CONCRETE DOGS who are in somewhat of a identity searching stage right now and on hold. It’s a pity. I was fond of this band, because of their Killer Youth Crew sounds. Especially live, I’ve been told they seem to have demolished neatly.


Prisoners by Choice

Talking of youth crew and Oi!-Punk I can entrust you one other bands. PRISONERS BY CHOICE form Lubin, south of Warsaw, are relatively new and just in july they have released their strong debut.

Just like with GLORY DAYS, one can marvel at melodic and melancholic Oi! songs, which score through sublime vocals and somehow motivating vibes. Soundwise one is treated with unblemished Oi! post punk. This quartett you shouldn’t let slip through your fingers, because their ear worms won’t dissolve so quickly. Let’s have a closer look on Silesia, because here the scene has been very aktiv and continuously growing over the past few years. Nothing works without SILESIA RIOT CREW (SRC) who organise concerts, push bands and provide the necessary footage. In Katowice most of all seems to be a lot going on. Im INWERSJA for example, a little venue with genuine living room atmosphere.


YOU BETTERUN there is a great band from Silesia. These four hardcore punks from Ruda Slaska are whirling everything away that gets in their way with their gloomy and fast riffing. On their latest release the snappy vocals, reminding one of british street punk, are most convincing. YBR are bringing great potential with them and could easily take the next step and become popular beyond polish borders in the future.
The next combo from the region is BRIGHT LIGHT who convincine through their ingenious youth crew hardcore. Here too, the vocals are a prominent factor, even though the song structures and basslines really are noteworthy as well. Everyone who likes youth crew will be delighted by BRIGHT LIGHT.

Bright Light Live

In august this year the first Hardcore/Oi/Punk festival was staged in Silesia. The NEVER FORGIVE NEVER FORGET FEST is not only supported by SRC, but also by e.g. BLACK WEDNESDAY RECORDS or DIY KOLO RECORDS.nfnf-festThe line up consisted of the creme de la creme of the polish scene and many of the artists mentioned before. The second volume is already in the makings and will go down on the last weekend of august 2017. I’ll try to be there for sure, if the line up can match the previous one. This is surely nothing to be missed. You can experience workshops, a martial arts tournament, a lot of nature and enough good, and most of all, vegan food.

ViciousxReality Live

One of the main acts of this year’s NFNF-Fest was the straight edge combo VICIOUSXREALITY, which might be a household name for one or the other hardcore kid in Germany already. Nasty and yet groovy youth crew hardcore with XXX attitude. Up to now the guys have released two records, one of which is already two years old. We might be surprised by a new release, but with expectations rising, you will want to take your time to make the fans happy. Also, I’ve been told that VxR are tearing places down, which can be clearly seen in some footage.

Personally, MENTALLY ILL are the ones for which I hope the most that they will become popular internationally. They have released a insanely good demo at the end of 2015. Lyrically and musically nearly to good for being a debut, one can only wait anxciously for a coming release. Angry youth crew hardcore punk à la MENTAL REFUSE or even DOGCHAINS. From time to time the sound is subducted with a metallic riff, which makes the songs diverse enough.


Of all the bands from Poland that I got to listen to, the MENTALL ILL’s DEMO is definitely the strongest debut release I could find. In 2017 this band will very likely be appearing on flyers for hardcore shows in germany. In case you want to browse some more, the following labels, which are shining with good distro and a good assortment, should be entrusted to you. First of all RATEL RECORDS, whose latest release was the SNUFF OUT, but also ELEPEHANT SKIN RECORDS, BLACK WEDNESDAY or WARSAW PACT RECORDS are worth visiting, too. In case you are stoked for Punk/Oi! and harcdcore releases from the underground, not everyone you know has already heard, it’s worth taking a look! 

As you can see our Eastern neighbours have a really good scene to offer, which not only consists of great bands that should be supported, but also of locations, solidarity and a lot of spirit. Just give one or the other combo a listen, check the live footage, distros and artworks and connect the dots of the polish hardocre punk scene yourself. Recommend and support what you like, because only that way we might be able to see some acts from Poland live.

Snuff Out Facebook/Snuff Out Bandcamp
Fight Them All Facebook/Fight Them All Bandcamp
Government Flu Facebook/Government FLU Bandcamp
Heatseeker Facebook/Heatseeker Bandcamp
Glory Days Facebook/Glory Days Bandcamp

SuicidebyCop Facebook/SuicideByCop Bandcamp
Bright Light Facebook/Bright Light Bandcamp
You Better Run Facebook/You Better Run Bandcamp
Prisoners by Choice Bandcamp
Street Lights Facebook/Street Lights Bandcamp
ViciousxReality Facebook/ViciousxReality Bandcamp
Mentally Ill Facebook/Mentally Ill Bandcamp

Ratel Records
Diy Kolo Records
Black Wednesday Records
Refuse Records
Warsaw Pact Records
Elephant Skin Records
Youth2Youth Records

Booking/ Locations:
Boredom Booking
Silesia Riot Crew


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