Revenge Recommends: "Brave New Soldiers" by The Pack


A brooding, squalling, and sometimes shrill classic goth-punk track from Kirk Brandon's first band, The Pack.

In addition to Brandon on vocals and guitar, the band included two Canadian brothers Simon and Jon Werner on guitar and bass, and Rab Fae Beith (Robert from Beith, a small town in Ayrshire, Scotland) on drums. The group emerged from the anarchist squat scene of South London in 1978.

With a punk sound that incorporated elements of goth the band soon made a name for itself. Many of its shows ended in mini riots and trashed venues. They signed for the politically incorrect SS Records and in August 1979 released their debut 45 Heathen with the slightly fascistic sounding Brave New Soldiers on the B-Side.

The choice of Nazi names and imagery among British punk and post-punk bands was an interesting phenomenon. While some of it may have been motivated by sincere beliefs, other elements include the wish to shock, a rejection of British patriotism, which was often framed in Churchillian and therfore anti-Nazi terms, and possibly a homo-erotic fixation that Nazism has always offered.

For their second 45, King of Kings/ Number 12 the band moved to Rough Trade Records. By this stage Rab Fae Beith had been replaced at the drum stool by Jim Walker formerly of Public Image. Despite growing popularity, the Pack mysteriously disbanded in early 1980, with the group's final gig at the 101 Club in Clapham a sell-out. Brandon then went on to form Theatre of Hate and Spear of Destiny.


Brave New Soldiers lyrics

There's a new soldier fighting
in the West today
press-ganged from the cradle
to live as a slave
They gave him his banner
It said long live the past
long live the past
long live the past
long live the past
long live the past
long live the past
long live the past
Today I left for the crusades
with Christ's cross and the Ten horned star
We about to die salute you
our programme is complete
Was it for murder or for mercy?
long live the past
long live the past
long live the past
long live the past
long live the past
Was it for murder or for mercy?
Was it for murder or for mercy?
Was it for murder or mercy?

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