Friday, August 16, 2019

Battalion Zoska Violated Records LP

Battalion Zoska
"Battalion Zoska"
Violated Records
Released: March 16, 2019

I've known vocalist Pat Society and guitarist Jim Roadie of Battalion Zoska for a few decades. Two of my favorite Philly people.

Battalion Zoska from conception to album release, seemed like a precision attack. Veteran Philadelphia musicians who know what they are doing, had a vision as well as the necessary talent to accomplish their goals, all while doing it with a fire and desire that is extraordinarily refreshing! 

Check the introductory video below:

Neil Newton from Angelic Upstarts and Dez Cadena (Black Flag/Misfits) make guest appearances on this solid, highly recommended, one of 2019's best  punk albums!

I love the pointed sentiment of "Arm Everyone" almost as much as I love the Adolescents meets F.O.D. harmony background at the end of the song. 

Absolutely, positively identify with the track "80's Kid', as I was a 16 year old in 1982. Lyrics hit it exactly.

"Island of Lost Souls" paints a vivid picture of the state of addiction, Needle Park, Kensington Ave.  

"Moral Coward" is another example of how lyrically, Battalion Zoska puts together thoughts and feelings, breaking things down concisely and poignantly driving their point home. Plus I was walking around for days singing "You're a moral, you're a moral, you're a moral fuckin' coward". Meaning, as driving and powerful as the songs are, Battalion Zoska has the melodic hooks that stick. 

History lesson: 
Battalion Zośka (pronounced Zoshka; Sophie in Polish) was a Scouting battalion of the Polish resistance movement organisation - Home Army (Armia Krajowa or "AK") during World War II. It mainly consisted of members of the Szare Szeregi paramilitary Boy Scouts. It was formed in late August 1943. A part of the Radosław Group, the battalion played a major role in the Warsaw Uprising of 1944.

Zośka was named after Tadeusz Zawadzki, who used the name as his pseudonym during the AK's early days. He was killed during a partisan action.

Zośka fighters liberated prisoners of the concentration camp Gęsiówka in the August 1944. The 383 able-bodied prisoners (including 348 Jews), both men and women who were left in Gęsiówka to assist with the destruction of the evidence of mass murder, were rescued from certain death. Most of these survivors joined the Zośka unit and fought in the Warsaw uprising.

That Battalion Zoska went from conception, to demo, to recording and pressing  the album, to playing Rebellion Festival in such a short time, demonstrates the band members drive and professionalism. Another classic Philly record!

The self titled album is available on CD and LP. My copy is on red/white split vinyl and included a full set of autographs. Also available on orange/yellow split vinyl. 

Pat's vocal snarl comes across on one of the album's most hardcore songs, "Scum of the Streets". There is an integrity and honesty that hits hard with Battalion Zoska.  

Do not miss your chance to see Battalion Zoska live in Allentown on Saturday August 17, 2019 and in Philly on Saturday October 12 at vocalist Pat's birthday bash. Both shows are incredible line ups, beyond Battalion Zoska.

The album wraps up with a cover of the Submachine classic, "Beer Song". The original was on the Submachine / Filth split 7" that was released in 1992. I used to see Submachine live all the time way back when and became friends with some of the gentlemen in the band. By the time "Beer Song" was released, I was one year sober (currently at 28 years sober and still love the "Beer Song"). I think Submachine vocalist Alex might have busted my chops a bit back then, because I think he may have witnessed my consumption 30 years ago or so... I love Submachine's home of Pittsburgh PA. 

Nice way to wrap up the album, lest you forget that Battalion Zoska understands a life balance that must include having some fun.

Frank FOE
FOE zine

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