The peaceful mountains of Switzerland may seem to not be the ideal place to inspire grimy, hateful music in the same way, say, the Lower East Side circa 1979 could get Lydia Lunch up on stage on the Bowery, but the country has produced some killer aural aggression through the years that has been sadly underdocumented even around Europe, let alone over here in the States. I'm sure a lot of folks are familiar with Kleenex (later Liliput), whose Kill Rock Stars anthology is now fairly visible in the population, and even the industrial-punks the Young Gods got a certain bit of notoriety in the late 80's thanks to their hookup with Waxtrax. But connecting the dots in between, a DVD has been issued called Punk Cocktail, featuring clips from Zurich's 1976-80 underground including Grauzone, Sperma, the Nasal Boys and more, though the hazy, dimly lit footage shot by Rene Uhlmann probably doesn't shed a lot of light (excuse the pun) on the still underdocumented scene. One of my faves were Manisch Depressiv, who opted to add some UK-inspired punk filterings to the blueprint Kleenex worked off of, but had a great sideways take and some severe tension going on (check out these MP3's of their 1983 7" "MD Pt. 1", "MD Pt. 2".) Grauzone's "Eisbar" (MP3) - literally "polar bear" - has grown over the years to somewhat of a cult hit; I first heard the song when Prisonshake covered it way back in the early 90's, since then I've heard Sightings do it live, and now Nouvelle Vague have given it the loungy, breathy-femme-vox treatment that I cynically predict will land it on an SUV commercial soon enough. However the group 16-17 covered would not. This combo (pictured) eminated some severe hate jazz to contend right alongside Borbetomagus; a 2CD anthology Early Recordings just came out recently on the Savage Land label, compiled by the Flying Luttenbachers' Weasel Walter. It's full of blasted, chaotic sax assaults, scraping guitar excursions, metallic rhythms and atonal mayhem from 1984-1989 that suitably depicts what the Swans would have sounded like had they come from a European free-jazz background. "Direkt B" (MP3) and "Watch!" (MP3) will clean your earholes out good. I'm also a big fan of Alboth!, a somehat academic though very weird ensemble whose 1991 disc I picked up at the FMU fair a couple years back called Amour and still makes my brain melt everytime I put it in. Piano-driven, guitarless metal, jazzy ala Naked City, but a total washing machine of musical genre insanity: "Villiger" (MP3) "Juerg Solothurnmann" (MP3) Looks like these guys are still at it as well.