We have another older book by almighty Ian Glasper on our pages today. The Day The Country Died is a must for anyone delving deep into subcultures, underground music, and punk rock in general. It’s nearly mindblowing how the contemporary punk rock scene owes to the anarcho-punk movement. If you pay close attention while reading The Day The Country Died, you’ll notice that the modern punk rock scene borrowed many principles from anarcho punks, who fought social injustices over forty years ago. Themes like anarchism, antifascism, anti-war, anti-corporatism, pacifism, LGBT, POC, vegetarianism, and veganism were just some of the topics that anarcho-punk bands explored through their lyrics. Of course, these themes are just the tip of the iceberg, and some mindsets came as the scene progressed. Like any other punk rock subgenre, anarcho-punk inspired many hardcore, d-beat, crust, grindcore, and powerviolence bands over the years. Therefore, don’t be surprised if you stumble upon some lyrical similarities between classic anarcho-punk and your favorite modern punk bands.
The Day The Country Died has the same starting point as Glasper’s Burning Britain, a book about the UK82 movement I recently reviewed on these pages. The book follows the downfall of a classic punk rock movement in the late seventies and rise of the anarcho-punk bands like Crass, Poison Girls, Zounds, Flux of Pink Indians, Conflict, Subhumans, Chumbawamba, Amebix, Rudimentary Peni, Antisect, Omega Tribe, and Icons of Filth. Of course, you’ll find many other groups who inspired and still inspire punk rockers around the globe. These years were the turning point for punk rock, mainly because the scene went from mainstream to a much more aggressive, extreme, and underground form. These punk rockers were working class or art school dropouts who demanded more than a necessary change in Thatcher’s Britain, and if you pay close attention to those years, things were far from good.
As usual, Glasper did an outstanding job. Besides the history of the anarcho-punk movement, you’ll get the chance to learn about each band separately through very detailed biographies, their symbolism, art, photos, etc. That’s the thing with Ian Glasper’s books. Each one serves as a hefty, comprehensive collection of all the necessary information you need to know about these bands, so if you looked for an anarcho-punk encyclopedia, The Day The Country Died undoubtedly drops into that category. Glasper already knew almost everything about these bands. However, he also did thorough research on the subject, so this book carries everything you need to know about one of the most important underground music scenes ever. The book is available in physical and digital form at PM Press, but you can also grab a printed copy at Earth Island Books.