Denmark wasn’t exactly renowned for its output of great punk acts in the 70s and 80s, but it did spawn a few, and undoubtedly the greatest of them all was Copenhagen’s The Sods.
Originally formed in 1977, they recorded two albums under this punky moniker before changing their name to Sort Sol (Black Sun) in 1981, eventually becoming one of the most successful Danish rock groups of all time. Under the Sort Sol banner, the band advanced into more avant garde territory, and has collaborated, at various points, with such illustrious figures as William Burroughs, Lydia Lunch and Link Wray.
But for our purposes the year is 1979, which heralded the release of The Sods’ blistering debut, Minutes To Go. This urgent punk album, infused with early Banshees-esque bleakness, features some truly inspired moments, most notably a cover of Suicide’s Ghost Rider which can only be described as ‘relentless’, and Copenhagen; possibly the rawest reggae attempt ever committed to vinyl.
What makes Copenhagen especially interesting is that it highlights the fact that punk bands who write reggae songs rarely perform them in what would be considered a ‘punk’ style. The Sods, however, athletically throw caution to the wind with an unflattering depiction of their hometown barked over shredding guitars and drums more akin to machine gun fire than the sound of a musical instrument.
I think you’ll agree that the results border on the alarming…