A quick addendum, in deference to some concerns of Pavel's. I think it goes without saying that I'm a long way away from being a proponent of any sort of national socialist or white power ideology. I've never been affiliated with it and consider it wrongheaded and misguided at the very least. However, I'm as staunch a proponent of freedom of speech in art as there is, regardless of how hugely I may disagree with its ideological origin or lyrical message. I believe that every single person should have a voice in art no matter how unpopular that voice may be, and I also believe that there's substantial value to exposing yourself to viewpoints very unlike your own. I listen to many bands who espouse values I am massively opposed to- white power, Christianity, communism- because I'm confident enough in my stances on ideological issues to feel perfectly comfortable having them challenged. Moreover, I keep art completely and utterly separate from ideology and do not make choices about what music to listen to based on the people who make it. If a song is great, a song is great, and that's where it ends for me.
In addition, I'd like to say that my musical appreciation of RAC, NSBM, or any similar music is not at all indicative of someone ignorant of the reality of white power ideologies. In my home region of central Florida, the metal scene has a fairly large contingent of people who subscribe to such ideologies in varying degrees. I have spoken to them, been at shows with them, and associated with them outside of the music scene. Each one has known that I believe their stances to be incorrect, as they believe mine to be incorrect, and the vast majority of the time we've been able to have civil, intelligent debate about the subjects without any recreations of "American History X" occurring. I firmly believe that the way such ideologies are portrayed by many extreme anti-fascists is not only incorrect, but propagates the very ideologies they want to stamp out. Simply demonizing such people is not only ignorant, but serves to create a dynamic where white power groups are portrayed as a struggling, oppressed underdog. The best way to combat such ideologies is not through propaganda, but through open debate, discussion, and education. Otherwise, we run the risk of stereotyping, categorizing, and holding irrational prejudice against the very people we lambast for those same actions.
With that out of the way:
RAC is a fantastic musical genre, not only because the sound of it is so inherently pleasing, but because saying you enjoy it without exhibiting the appropriate amount of apologism for it is guaranteed to piss a lot of people off. Unfortunately for the more socially conscious among us, RAC happens to be just some of the most fun music on the planet. I'm a big fan of the style- more specifically, the variety that mostly appears from the '90s onwards, where the more thuggish, burly style of the early incarnations of the genre fuse with a more contemporary sense of pop-punk, making some of the most infectiously asskicking music on the planet. Here's a selection of five personal favorites of mine.
Final War - Aryan Pride
Final War basically just sounds like The Offspring gone RAC. Unbelievably catchy stuff with fast, propulsive rhythms, a great usage of keening lead guitar, and a well-delivered, ranting vocal style, it's a great intro to the RAC niche that I call my own. This track in particular is a fantastic one- the guitar dropout near the end, the "Whooaaaa!" gang vocals, and the brilliant lead guitar theme all bring to mind the fiercer edge of Cali skate punk with RAC's insistent, demanding flow.
Hate Society - Hail Blood & Honour
Hate Society might just be the most cheerful, enthusiastic RAC band on the planet. The sunny, bouncy style of their tunes brings to mind stuff like Sublime as much as Skrewdriver. "Hail Blood & Honour" (there have to be at least a hundred RAC songs with that title) is one of their catchiest and best. I love the overly gruff vocals contrasting with the phenomenal riffing. The verse-prechorus-chorus flow is so impossibly organic in that great pop-punk style that it's utterly incapable of being ignored.
Whites Load - 88!
Whites Load is actually a Ukrainian band that appears to be a side project of some bigger members of the NSBM scene from that country. Most of their material is more on the heavy metal side of the RAC equation, but "88!" off their sole full-length is a straightforward RAC rocker with a great chorus, simple, engaging structure, and probably the best solo I've ever heard in an RAC song. A pretty unknown entry in the RAC field, but definitely one worthy of attention.
Oidoxie - Terror Machine
Picking up the pace again is Oidoxie, who bring a classic pop-punk/RAC fusion with "Terror Machine." It's about as pure a mixture of the two styles as you can get: the rough-hewn vocals and tense, insistent melodic sense fuse beautifully with the enthusiastic, rollicking rhythms and gang-shouted declarations. Middle of the road stuff, perhaps, but definitely a great execution of a traditional style.
Race War - They Were Heroes
Race War just might be my favorite RAC band of all time. Not only do they have pretty good production, in contrast to the bulk of the genre, but they create a brilliant cross-section of RAC, traditional metal, and pop-punk with their style. Simple, engaging, and organic, their style is burly and powerful as well as agile and propulsive. "They Were Heroes" is probably my favorite track by the band; who knew so much mileage could be gotten out of the most bare-bones and primitive three chord riff imaginable? But the beautifully lucid drumming and inconceivably well-plotted vocal melodies make for a track that's as memorable as it is dangerous to play around your leftist friends.
Post your favorite RAC bangers in the comments!