As Kevin Spacey’s psychotic character John Doe calmly tells a frustrated Brad Pitt in Se7en: “If you want people to listen, you can’t just tap them on the shoulder anymore. You have to hit them with a sledgehammer, and then you’ll notice you’ve got their strict attention.” Taking this concept to the airwaves with a deceptively candy floss coated name, Pink Punk is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
The brain child of former One Minute Silence front man Yap, who is nothing less than the oral equivalent of a severely riled Henry Rollins, an incensed Bob Geldof, and a raving Jello Biafra all backed by Rage Against the Machine playing their hearts out at the world’s last ever anti capitalist demonstration.
Lashing out with venomous but incredibly literate, witty rage vocalist Yap spits his anti-‘just about everything organised’ war cry with razor like precision. With opener Hope he is quick to let the listener know just where his influences are coming from: “Elvis has left the building, well good riddance, I’m in the building, Kant is in the building, Thoreau is in the building.”
And with such influential thinkers as his base and source it’s no surprise that a lot of the references here would fly over the heads of the bubble gum pop world he is trying to convert, although his lyrics do range from the down right brutal (“the state rapes children, you do know that don’t you? It rips them out of natures cradle and crushes them. Press a button, bomb a nation, abomination,”) to the downright sublime (“Kylie, move your plastic ass, you’re blocking out the genocide!”).
For a man who has been known to halt his previous band’s performances mid-set to unleash his politically fuelled rants over the injustice and inequality on our planet, it seems this spoken word/rap outfit suits his needs down to the ground. While there are some less than inspirational backing tracks here, the majority of the music, though a world away from the funk metal thrashings of One Minute Silence, is diverse and punchy. America could easily be an early Prodigy B-side, while Yapolitical will bore its way infectiously into your skull.
Although his obviously anti-capitalistic rants are relentless (“We are all now one of two sides, demarcated along dollar lines,”) and unyielding in their hatred of all that is American culture, there is a black humour here that will catch you off guard, and leave you in stitches: “Shiny shiny, happy people, bleed for me at least, or can I not compete with Ozzy’s monkey children.”
If you thought Bono and Geldolf had supplied enough Irish social action politick to keep the world on its toes, you are in for a very rude awakening akin to napalm being poured into your ear drums. Forget glossy charity concerts where pop’s greatest icons showcase their (lack of?) talent in the name of ‘raising awareness’ on global issues, Zoo Politics is here to keep you awake at night, squirming in unease until you realise that you can’t ignore reality.