Tag Archives: Chepang

Underground Sounds: Chepang – Lahti Charge

Label: Nerve Altar/Holy Goat
Band: Chepang
Origin: US/Nepal

The Chepang is a tribe in Nepal. The subtleties of the situation there are way to dense to get into, though, but suffice to say that they are considered the lower class in a a segmented society. It’s similar to the Indian caste system and connected to many issues related to the position of individuals in society. The band has widely adressed that case in this article by Kim Kelly from Noisey. The band shares members with Sangharsha.

The style the band proclaims to play, they call ‘immigrindcore’. Its a light-hearted play on the origin of the band and the place where they’re at. From New York, the Nepalese immigrants have unleashed this piece of ferocious grindcore onto the world. The record was recorded by Kevin Bernstein (Margrudergrind, Mutilation Rites) and mastered by Brad Boatright in Audiosiege Studio’s (you know him from recordings of Corrosion of Conformity, Nails, Beastmilk, Obituary, Yob and more).

Grindcore is a political vehicle and has always been such, so the choice for this as the sound of their dissent is a righteous one. The sound on the record, which is spiced up with some samples in Nepalase speaking (I have to assume as much), is fierce and filled with the typical bumpy beats on the opener ‘Kathe-Man-Du’, which may make it sound light-hearted, untill the roaring vocals start beating away at your eardrums.

‘Lahti Charge’ is like a home made bomb with grind, powerviolence and hardcore elements. The production is so tight, that this record is very listenable and not plagued by the distorted hazy sound you hear on this sort of records often. Not that this doesn’t have its charm, but these are guys with a mission, who want to reach an audience. A more toned down track, like ‘Chepang Basti’ offers a long intro that feels a bit like some of the work from Black Flag. Perphaps a great comparison to the open ended display of fury from these guys.

Maybe I’m just too excited about this record, but it’s utterly devastating with high-speed blasts, thick sludge like parts and punkrock swagger. Though the lyrics are in Nepalese, a short lyric is displayed in English, like on the untitled track: “”Cash rules everything around me, Welcome to the third world order”. This record is one of the purest, most freely made and brutal bits of music out there. This, I believe, is the spirit of punk coming back witha vengeance.