For years, I completely skipped over DAN, probably because of their goofy and decidedly not punk looking record covers, but when my friend Zann Rehash played them for me I was instantly smitten - why had I ignored DAN for so long? Despite the cartoonish artwork and record titles like Mother With Child And Bunny, the band made a killer hybrid of political anarcho punk and UK thrash a la RIPCORD (nowhere near as ferocious, but the pace is there on some of the LP tracks) with crossover solos, and I was sold. The three vocalists are probably unnecessary, especially since Mandy is the only singer that really stands out, but the novelty of three frontpersons must have been quite a sight. DAN made their vinyl debut in 1987 with the An Attitude Hits EP, but this demo comes from 1984 and features few songs that made it onto DAN records. Rougher than the records, Hope In A Hopeless World show DAN in a more primitive state, yet to master the arts of tempo and tuning, but the earnest determination with which they assault these relatively simple tunes is more than a little endearing ("Possession" is a prime example of this). 14 songs in 35 minutes, favorites include "What's It Worth?," "Glorey (sic) Of Slaughter," "Army Of Fools" and the mystifying surf beat on "Heretic."
Like with so many 80s punk bands, DAN thought it would be a good idea to slap a feedback laden live set onto the back side of their demo. This set was recorded in October 1984 in their hometown of Darlington, and features DAN ripping through 16 songs and wading through minutes of feedback and full volume tuning between most of them. Much of this should be put in the "for true fans only" category, and some of the shit here is just atrocious - the guitar is beyond out of tune on songs like "Rebuild," overshadowed only by the painful wailing that they are trying to pass off as vocals, and the slogging about between songs teeters between boring and irritating. But there are killer versions of "Wall Of Fear" (later on the Where Have All The Children Gone? LP) and "The Glory Of Slaughter," the midtempo meandering guitar on "Deliverer" is great, and there's still something awesome about listening to a live set that was recorded so fukkn long ago. This tape came with two covers and it would be rude if I didn't share them both.