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Resist & Uplift! BAD BREEDING’s ‘Contempt’ Track by Track

Photo by Cole

I want to say thank you to BAD BREEDING for creating their new album Contempt out now via One Little Indie and Iron Lung Records. There is so much I could say about this amazing collection of songs that I know will stand the test of time! We’ve been blessed with a track by track breakdown of the album by the members of the band themselves. If the humans from BAD BREEDING are reading this, just know that y’all are one of my favorite all-time bands going back over 40 years of being a part of the Global Punk community!

Y’all should know that this band has surpassed their previous records and created a razor sharp collection of Anarcho Hardcore Punk anthems that they hold like a blade to the throats of the corrupt. On a personal tip, I got to let y’all know that BAD BREEDING’s music is good for my mental health, because they make me realize I’m not alone in my outlook on the world. Musically, this band is standing on business and then some! 

CVLT Nation

Bad Breeding Contempt

Temple of Victory

This was the first thing we wrote for the record and it all came from Charlie’s repetitive bass line. Lyrically it examines the falsehoods of reactionary nationalism in the UK and how narratives have been used to promote disunity and fractures at a time of utter destitution in England. Exploiting the fabled lustre of British exceptionalism, the establishment’s tentacles of manipulation have led some to celebrate at the foot of a Temple of Victory, chasing hollow routes of xenophobia and distrust to provide answers as to their day-to-day precarity. The idea originally came from reading up on the arson and subsequent suicide of a man attacking a migrant centre in Dover in 2022. When writing this song I found myself revisiting the First World War poets like Owen, Rosenberg, and Sassoon I’d studied in secondary school. There’s a deeply affecting futility there, and also in paintings like C.R.W. Nevinson’s Paths of Glory, that in some ways feels like a mirror for the duplicitous exceptionalism harnessed by the ruling classes in Britain today.


Survival is one of the lyrical cornerstones of the record, which explores capital’s destruction of the planet and posits the idea that only an organized response from workers can prevent the ecological collapse of the planet. Capital’s crisis of overproduction, extraction of surplus and incessant war-gaming has left the earth either scorched or drowned by its own oceans. Millions are displaced with every passing year by war, famine and ecological destruction, fleeing farther and farther to hospitable lands that are violently protected by capital and the established few who operate and prosper under its framework. As the planet becomes warmer and less habitable, capital’s attempts to survive and hoard will only become more violent and inhumane. It’s only with a total opposition led by workers and underpinned by an unwavering value for life that the current economic system we are forced to live under can be dismantled and rebuilt anew with class antagonisms destroyed completely.


Devotion looks at the blind commitment to the current status quo that has established itself in Britain, where a cost of living crisis could be responsible for the deaths of thousands of people each year. Where flags are waved and scapegoats flogged in the press while corporations lay claim to rising dividends and profit margins as people suffer under the illusion of choice; forced to either starve or freeze. How have we arrived at such a juncture where workers teeter towards an equality gap reminiscent of Victorian Britain while the gilded class prosper and portion out blame, feeding the lie that meritocracy is king, that you get what you deserve?


Liberty in short is an exploration of how neoliberalism has served as a facilitator of imperial expansion, cloaked under the pretence of bringing liberation and freedom to maldeveloped parts of the world. Most of it was taken from a set of lyrics I wrote years back as a follow up to a song off our Exiled record called Chemical Sunset Ashen Morning. It explores how those in positions of power have continuously reworked and reframed the ways in which they justify the destruction of a world shaped by their own greed and profiteering. It’s an anti-war song in essence and looks at the continued brutality and destruction of the planet and its people in the name of economic and egomaniacal conquest. The invasion of Iraq in 2003 was probably the first point of political awakening for me as a teenager and my interest in the West’s position in the Middle East became more considered when I discovered writers like Michael Parenti and Vijay Prashad. I’ve been writing about that across most of the records dating back to 2016, starting with Venerable Hand on the first record we did and going through to Speculation on Human Capital in 2022. Liberty is an extension of those criticisms and ideas through the lens of the destruction and humanitarian crises that have been created in the preceding years.


In some ways Discipline is a companion piece to Survival in the way it explores how capital’s obsession with productivity and consumption has poisoned what’s left of the planet and also wrought untold physical and mental strain on most of humanity. The lyrics map out this obsession and its impact, while the second half of the song aims for resistance by ditching our dedication to the structures of capital and the way it robs us of our time, labour and spoils of work. It’s a song that asks us to reevaluate how we perceive our relationships with the earth and each other in order to free ourselves from the very mental and physical prisons we’ve built under the strain of our current economic system.


On most of our records there’s usually one sonic outlier. There’s a lot of layering and punishing textures on this record, but Retribution was written as a bit of an antidote to that. Lyrically, it toys with being slightly more on the nose and it’s a bit of a nod to my childhood going to football with my old man’s Subs and Angelic Upstarts CDs in the car. Capitalist realism has codified and established a view in towns like Stevenage that our imaginations are unable to conjure a future or alternative beyond our current economic system. This song calls for us to reimagine our future in the colours of a united working class, to visualize the fall of capital through community and solidarity. I suppose it’s a song directly about Stevenage too. There is a duality here, perennial struggle and toil, but also an emerging counter to it all. Despite the continued attacks on our class, towns like Stevenage plough on through and people find ways to patch themselves together time and time again.

Gilded Cage / Sanctuary

With all its frictionless innovation and meritocratic uplifting, these are the sunlit uplands of modern capital that we find ourselves wandering; a place where we are poorer, wearier and more alone. Our continued participation and the bludgeoning of community has crystallized a process of atomization that has atrophied our muscles of solidarity. This song explores the lasting impact of austerity in the U.K. and the years of ideological punishment meted out to working communities across the country. The back-end of this song features some of the field recordings we’d collated throughout the year; different building sites we were working on and walks through town centres on lunch breaks.

Vacant Paradise and Idolatry

Like the song before it, Vacant Paradise builds on how atomization and the lasting legacy of neoliberalism has eaten away at communities, leading to a chase for personal achievement and self-actualization as a tonic to the barbarity of our world. A place where we hide in the uniformity of consumption and acceptance. Comfort and warmth is found in self-aggrandizing spectacle and whatever preeminent meritocratic endeavour is being peddled by those in positions of power. This sort of sentiment bleeds into Idolatry, which again asks the question as to why we have become so wedded to tradition and the perpetuation of the status quo in the UK during a time of desperation and poverty.


Capital and its bourgeois foot soldiers hold nothing but contempt for working people and it’s in that contempt we can find solidarity with one another. Whatever story gets sold and packaged to working people, contempt guides every move of the capitalist class. We see it every day in the unspeakable destruction and very gutting of the planet we live on. Only when we realise and utilise the utter contempt held for us can we reach a level of class consciousness that will provide an adequate challenge to capital.

All photos by Cole

Bad Breeding “Contempt”

Labels: One Little IndieIron Lung Records

Photo by Fumito Yamazak

All photos by Tim Birckbeck

Written By

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