Dezerter & KMKZ – Drizzly Grizzly

The Polish Punk Icons Defying Time

In the ever-evolving landscape of punk rock history, one name shines brightly: Dezerter. If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t crossed paths with Poland’s punk scene, you might be scratching your head, thinking, “Dezerter who?” Well, hold onto your piercings, because we’re about to dive headfirst into the politically charged, irresistibly chaotic world of Dezerter.

Close your eyes and imagine Warsaw in the early ’80s, a time when three misfits – Robert “Robal” Matera, Krzysztof Grabowski, and Dariusz “Stepa” Stepnowski – decided to give the finger to the mainstream and birthed the beast that is SS-20. Soon after, they were joined by another student, Dariusz “Skandal” Hajn, who, in Grabowski’s own words, “looked like a true punkrocker“. With scorching guitar riffs and lyrics sharp enough to cut through the iron curtain, Dezerter’s concerts quickly became a magnet for thousands of rabid fans, and their LPs skyrocketed in popularity.

Inspired by the legends like The Clash and The Sex Pistols, Dezerter didn’t just ride the punk wave; they rode it bareback, Polish style, and made it their own.

As Dezerter began hurling politically charged lyrics like metaphorical Molotov cocktails, the communist government was sent into a tailspin. Their music was so “dangerous” that the authorities must have reached for earplugs faster than you can say “anarchy”. And if that wasn’t enough, these rebellious souls faced arrests as casually as they would swap concert tickets. It’s almost as if they had a scorecard for each brush with the law. They even had to switch their name to Dezerter because the Communist authorities weren’t too keen on “SS-20“, a name borrowed from a Soviet ballistic missile. Provocative? You bet.

Now, hold on to your ripe leather jackets because here’s the kicker. Dezerter didn’t flame out like a one-hit wonder. No, they unleashed their debut album in 1987, aptly named “Underground Out of Poland“. It didn’t just raise eyebrows; it gave the politicos a run for their money, figuratively and maybe even literally.

Fast forward to their recent concert at the intimate Drizzly Grizzly, and Dezerter is still alive and kicking, pulling in a crowd that spans generations. Grandparents, parents, and their rebellious offspring all turned up, ready to soak in the sonic rebellion that Dezerter dishes out. It’s like a multi-generational family gathering, but with punk rock instead of awkward family photos. Dezerter is more than just a band; they are the living, breathing embodiment of punk’s enduring legacy in Poland.

Now, as we pivot to the musical duel that unfolded next door, we have Young Multi, the hip-hop sensation, packing the cavernous B90 venue with thousands of teenagers, all primed for a night free from deep philosophical musings. It’s all about immediate pleasure and a spectacular show.

Here’s the deal: Dezerter is the voice of dissent, decrying inequality, injustice, and the flaws in the system. They aim to shake us from our slumber and spark a movement towards a more equitable society. On the flip side, Young Multi is all about providing unadulterated pleasure to the masses, with no grand messages, no world-changing aspirations – just the ecstasy of the moment and a mind-blowing performance.

This antagonism in styles and intentions fuels a fascinating clash in the musical realm. Dezerter embodies the relentless spirit of punk, challenging the status quo and advocating change, while Young Multi offers a complete contrast, focusing on immediate gratification and pure entertainment. The contrast between these two musical forces highlights the boundless diversity of music, showing how it can be a vehicle for profound social commentary or a blissful escape from life’s complexities.

And, of course, music itself is a pleasure, which is something we completely get. Sometimes, people just want to attend a concert for sheer enjoyment, to unite with fellow music lovers, and immerse themselves in a mesmerizing performance without pondering the world’s troubles.

So, the next time you encounter Dezerter’s electrifying tunes and wonder what all the fuss is about, remember this: they’re not just a band; they are the epitome of punk’s indomitable spirit. Raise your glasses to the rebels, salute the survivors, and let the legacy of Dezerter reverberate through the ages.

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