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After much delay, it’s finally that time of year again – Static Shock weekend. With the four-day long multi-venue festival fast approaching, we’re looking at this year’s lineup in anticipation of what’s to come. One of the band’s we’re most looking forward to seeing this year is Sial.
Sial, a hardcore punk band from Singapore, sings in the indigenous language of the indigenous minority, Bahasa Melayu (Malay), issuing an inherent act of defiance to their highly capitalist colonial society.
While Singapore has multiple official languages, with Malay being one of them, English remains most prominent, making Sial’s name, language and the very essence of their sound saturated in pure rebellion.
Singapore was colonized around 1819 and remained as such until 1963, not becoming an independent republic until 1965, of course the history of their colonial society is much more complex than that, but as someone that is neither Singaporean or an expert in Singapore’s history, I’ll leave the telling of it to the Singaporean people.
There have been a slew of bands in the west over the last several years to take heavy influences from Japanese d-beat bands. Like them, Sial has taken obvious notes from bands like Disclose and Gauze, in addition to the typical UK/US influences we see in modern hardcore.
However, Sial seems to have created their own original sound, instead of relying exclusively on their influences to create their brand. They perform with an intense ferocity – This is fast-paced, high-energy raw punk to its core.
To outsiders like us, Singapore is known for its fancy hotels and resorts and property-buying billionaires – a group that even we Londoners look at with extreme ire, as we look around and see the empty centrally located real estate that’s further driving up the cost of living for those of us struggling to survive.
Our esteemed head honcho often goes to Singapore for work, where she typically lives off of rice and goes on epic adventures in search of beer, due to the extremely high cost of goods in the country.
While we obviously can’t fully understand what Singapore’s indigenous population has gone through, especially considering the British were their primary colonisers, those of us struggling to get by can certainly empathise and encourage bands like Sial to carry on in their statement of protest.
While Static Shock Weekend tickets are already completely sold out, this isn’t a band you want to miss. I highly suggest posting yourself up on the event page and lurking for someone selling a Saturday evening ticket. If you can’t scrounge yourself up a ticket, you can check out their Self-Titled LP, or better yet, pick up a copy for yourself from London’s La Vida es un Mus Discos.
For those of you that have already scored tickets, Heatwave’s editorial squad will definitely see you there!