Pożoga describes itself as an “international punk consortium” – With lyrics provided in Spanish, Polish and English, I’m guessing that’s the international make-up of the band… Whatever the configuration, Pożoga’s vignette of its adopted home is a bleak one. From the cover image of street kids sniffing glue on O’Connell Bridge (most likely from an early 80’s Magill report) to desolate subject matter, there’s nothing here likely to sell postcards.
This appears to be the result of a couple of different recordings (?)… The versions of GONE TO THE DOGS and NO HAY FUTURO are the same as the demo from 2017, and the stylistic difference between those and the opening tracks suggest a bit of musical development… but I could be completely wrong and this may have all been put to tape in the same 7 minutes or so it takes to play the EP!!
Initially expecting Pożoga to be wall-to-wall hardcore, I was surprised that WOLFPACK ATTACK leads the EP with more of a punk sound than anything else here, incensed by interaction with the gormless urban troglodyte, complete with choral barking! HOLIDAY initially suggests that it’s going somewhere similar before taking a left turn into breakneck riffing. That the anger is pumped up on this one is unsurprising given that the “holiday” in question refers to short hops necessitated by the suffocation of a medieval belief system. Next is an utterly frantic delivery of RIP’s NO HAY FUTURO (“There is no Future”) from ZONA ESPECIAL NORTE, their split debut with fellow Basque punks Eskorbuto. Where the original now sounds like a fairly flat and dated trope, Pożoga injects a refreshing speed, anger and vitality into it.
On the B-side, DIRECT PROVISION kicks in with rolling drums, big hardcore punk guitars, gruff vocals and… well… the title speaks for itself. Previously featured on the Karate Klub compilation, the gloriously filthy OUT IN THE COLD gnaws and gnarls at the homeless emergency, frustrated in the knowledge that it’s now a very real threat to more people than it’s ever been. Winding things up and wasting zero time about it, GONE TO THE DOGS is hell-bent and peaking its underproduction like a livid wasp in a jam jar. Like all bands laying a solid foundation, the earliest track/s often become the anthemic calling card and this is everything coarse, feral and voracious about Pożoga in one minute and 46 seconds.
A band like this is made for the 7” single format. Without some manner of stylistic overhaul, I can’t imagine how this translates into an album release, unless that album is 14 minutes long…but that’s ultimately a matter for the band to figure out as it moves forward. Pożoga means “conflagration”, and if this EP transpired to be the only thing the band ever released, its raw indignation would make it a perfect little angry fireball of noise.