Brygada Kryzys (Polish pronunciation: [brɨˈɡada ˈkrɨzɨs]) is one of the most important and influential Polish post-punk bands. The band was founded in 1981 by two well-known guitarist/vocalists from Warsaw, Robert Brylewski (formerly of the band Kryzys) and Tomasz Lipiński (from Tilt). “Brygada Kryzys” is the debut studio album by Polish band Brygada Kryzys. It was released in 1982, through the record label Tonpress.
“You know, I put Brygada Kryzys’ debut album on for about the fiftieth time today, and I was simultaneously thinking “I should really get more reviews done.” So, putting them together, of course, well… here we are. I hope to shed some light on a couple of my favorite acts, who also happen to be a couple of the best to come out of the early 80s post-punk scene. Brygada Kryzys (Crisis Brigade) is about the best post-punk band you’ve never heard. At least, I’m going to assume you’ve never heard them, because I know no one outside of Poland, and few inside, that have. They formed around 1981, I believe, around the same time as another great post-punk outfit, Republika, which I may or may not get to later. They stayed together only a few years, or at least, didn’t release more albums after that. The album starts up with Centrala , opening with a dark, yet surf-guitar-esque guitar line. It actually reminds me of a certian surf song, though I can’t place it for the life of me. Then, in kick the drums, and the vocals, which of course I can’t understand, but that’s never bothered me. This song sounds… political, to me, for lack of a better word, and I think it’s a testament to its quality that it makes me want to go out and get active about…. something. Maybe the lack of a directive is a good thing, in this case, and prevents it from becoming dated, or irrelevent to me. The second track, Radioaktywny Blok , is a one-minute-long rollicking rockabilly-esque number, shouty vocals, cymbal ride, walking bass line and all. Most of the middle tracks are not quite as intense-feeling as the first two, still great, however. The addition of sax on many of them leaves me with the impression of Madness meets The Clash meets Gang of Four meets early U2 in places. That the last half of the album is sung in English contributes to Britpunk comparison, especially on Ganja (guess what that one’s about) and Fallen, Fallen is Babylon , which closes the album. I guarantee you’ll be walking around with “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon!” and your interpreted Polish lyrics to a bunch of other songs in your head after listening to this. It’s a fantastic album, one that you can put on repeat for a long, long time, and one that anyone who thinks they know something about post-punk/new wave should not be without. I score it a nine.”