Jalang-Santau album review. FFO: Nausea/Antischism; i.e. Raging crust that is surprisingly catchy and epic!.


Jalang-Santau album review. FFO: Raging crust that is surprisingly catchy and epic!.

Here's the bio or update:
Jalang (formerly Lái) play fast-paced and danceable D-beat punk, propelling the band’s ferocious vocals into the face of the listener. Vocalist Alda’s lyrics are delivered in Bahasa Indonesia and English, engaging with both her own and collective narratives that explore politics, religion, feminism and queer rights in South East Asia, and the diaspora in so-called Australia. Timmy (Extinct Exist, Pisschrist, Schifosi) on guitar and Tessa (Ubik, Masses) on bass were joined by Kyle (Sheer Mag) on drums in 2021.

Lái's 2020 debut masterpiece Pontianak was one of my fave album's last year by its raging crust explosiveness and brilliant political content. How could they top that?. Well, the name may have changed as well as some lineup changes and that answer is a firm HELL YES!.

Santau takes a very basic formula and improves it in every way. The changes are big and completely boost the whole sound. Production and mastering are less lo-fi like much underground punk and metal collectives claim is more raw and true. Utter nonsense, give me punchy and decent production and mastering anytime. Jason Fuller is masterful and gets the sound needed. This is one part of why the album sounds so amazing. The second is the songs are catchier, sound much more forceful and tighter as a band. The vocals are still abrasive as hell, but I dig how the backing vocals proportionally balance out the tone given the drums and cutting riffs are very strong in the mix. This isn't a criticism, it's something so lacking in most punk and hardcore albums. And here it adds a whole palette of colour given how generic and dull most D-beat sounds these days. Also, the lyrical content is sensational and on point as expected. Personally, I want my punk rock lyrics to have deep sociopolitical content that is well thought out and to convey knowledge. The lyrics are brilliant, inspiring and hit the current issues hard. Respect!.  

Picking faves of this release is extremely hard as it's full of gems from start to end. Santau 65 is a wild opener and the mad pace sells you the strength of the release immediately. Also a preview of the very solid bass and pummeling drum warfare across this release. War on Reality is an utter gem, punishing riffs and Alda delivers some of the fastest crust vox ever combined with the sheer brilliance of the lyrics:

"The pit of ignorance and arrogance is bottomless, When you value personal privileges over collective responsibility, Whose side are you on? A growing war on reality is looming, Which side are you really on?"

Derak Tulang has tons of catchy dynamics and this is also strongly apparent in the magic of Yellow Pearls and the riffage and musical stylings are more hardcore sounding than crust. And this exhibits some of the major musical changes overall, a greater focus on tone and more energy rather than being fuzzy and distorted. Blood of Soil is brief but has a strong and determined intent that sticks in your head. White Metal is a total fave, it just marches towards a complete and justified assault on crypto nazi bands. It is a fantastic song and whilst it musically entrances you, the lyrics are incredible and caustic( and sarcastic) as hell:

"Go make ur corpse paint, A permanent fixture, Finish the job, Ur a mortuary picture"

This is lyrical grandeur at its peak!.
Senandung Akhir Zaman has catchy riffs and song structure that I loved, again tons of 80's/90's Hardcore reference points to love. Lawan Dan Hancurkan similarly whilst being instrumental (with completely relevant samples) has more catchy bass and rhythm work than a pop-punk song, highly enjoyable and danceable stuff. Cops N Klan is one of the best political and irate songs you have heard in years and will also be a perfect soundtrack for activism and the moshpit equally. The album ends with one of the deepest cuts and if you take the time to get the facts, you would be aware of the brutal and still current (and absolutely sickening) issue of deaths in custody for indigenous people. This track, Deaths Inside illustrates these facts clearly and you can hear the aggressive emotion and sadness in this song and as the band state:
Everyone’s complicit, Stop this massacre, stop Chained and murdered, 200 years and counting, When will we say ENOUGH!
This is an incendiary device, but at the same time; a dominant way to end the album with solid guitar work and incensed vocals that match the issues discussed in the track. The other track on the album is a perfect cover of Crucifix's Indochina and it sits perfectly in the album and actually sounds like an original of the band. So all up another flawless album from the band, but the new influences and sound exhibit definite confidence and added vigour. The music is hard-edged but has tons more catchy elements whilst remaining completely punk as fuck. Production and mastering is way ahead of the first album and delivered with endless skill and lyrically Jalang is as staunch as ever. 

This band is a commanding force and deserve to be one of Australia's most adored punk bands!.

Santau is out now:

Watch this live performance of the album: