In pictures: The bands, fans and mayhem of the ’80s Swedish Råpunk movement

Take a look at exclusive shots from new book Råpunk – The Birth Of Swedish Hardcore 1981-89, which captures the bands and the fans of the ’80s Swedish punk movement…

In pictures: The bands, fans and mayhem of the ’80s Swedish Råpunk movement
Nick Ruskell
David Andersson
Sebastian Todor

Råpunk – Swedish for ‘raw punk’ – was the apt name given to the country’s punk and hardcore movement in the 1980s, which birthed underground heroes like Anti-Cimex, Mob 47 and Totalitär. A DIY affair, and with music often even more aggressive than British bands like Discharge, G.B.H. and The Exploited, though small its huge influence can be found across the underground scenes that came after. Not least in future generations of Swedish bands like Refused and Raised Fist, as well as in the country’s death metal outfits like Entombed and At The Gates. Indeed, future Arch Enemy/Carcass guitarist Michael Amott earned his spurs playing guitar in the hardcore band Disaccord.

Råpunk is also the title of the new book chronicling the scene by David Andersson, a member of the band Identity, and editor of the punk zine Bubble-Bad. Collecting together a history of the music, an exhaustive look at its bands and their releases, plus an incredible wealth of photographs, it is a lovingly-compiled, beyond-detailed document, with a foreword by former Napalm Death and Cathedral singer Lee Dorrian, who was among the small group of UK punks to bring Råpunk artists to Britain.

To celebrate its release this month, here David shares a selection of shots from the book that celebrates an oft-overlooked, but brilliant, corner of punk history…

Above: Svart Snö at Ultrahuset, Handen, 1987.
Photo: Helena Johnson

“Svart Snö was one of the better raw punk bands who formed int the late-’80s. Ultrahuset was an incredible venue. It was an autonomous free zone where punks and weirdos alike would congregate. Pretty much every Swedish raw punk band during the second half of the ’80s played there.”

Above: Disaccord in Växjö, 1987, with a young Mike Amott, far left.
Anna Lindberg

“Disaccord never released any vinyl records during the 1980s but were famous for their incredibly fierce and powerful live gigs.”

Above: Anti-Cimex, Sprängkullen, Gothenburg, 1984.
Photo: Sebastian Todor

“Anti-Cimex singer Tomas Jonsson’s stage antics were really quite extrovert and violent, often confronting the audience.”

Above: A very young Christer ‘Chrille’ Lindholm of MOB 47 at Ultrahuset, Handen, 1984.
Photo: Jan Jutila

“Mob 47 were one of the most influential and internationally known Swedish raw punk/hardcore bands from the ’80s. They are still active today.”

Above: Lars-Anders ‘Lanchy’ Orre and Per Olof Frimodig of Totalitär at Ultrahuset, Handen, 1988.
Photo: Helena Johnson

“Totalitär stood out from the rest of the Swedish raw punk scene as far as their ‘look’ goes. They wore ‘normal’ clothes or ’60s freak beat-style hairdos and clothes. However, their music was as fierce as any great Swedish raw punk band goes.”

Above: Sound Of Disaster (S.O.D. – not to be confused with the hardcore thrash band out NYC), at rehearsal in Mjölby, 1985.
Photo: Patrik Jonsson

“The county of Östergötland housed a number of great bands. S.O.D. was one of them, as raw and intense as they get.”

Above: Crowd during Black Flag gig at Ultrahuset, Handen, 1984.
Photo: Jan Jutila

“Black Flag played to a packed room of a capacity of 100 people, leaving another 400 outside trying to watch the show by peeking through the windows.”

Above: Tomas ‘Tompa’ Andersson of Svart Parad, Strängnäs, 1986.
Photo: Fabian Hansson Bernstone

“Svart Parad was one of the fiercest raw punk bands out of Sweden. Their heavy and raw style was truly unique.”

Above: Existenz in Helsingborg, 1983.
Photo: Ronny Lindblad

“Even young raw punks got to eat. This photo was the template for the drawing that ended up on Existenz’ 12-inch, Let’s Get Drunk Before It’s Too Late.”

Above: Punks in Hultsfred, 1988.
Photo: Helena Johnson

“Two worlds collide. Mainstream Swedish culture versus the counter culture.”

Råpunk – The Birth Of Swedish Hardcore 1981-89 is out now via No Good

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