Hagar The Womb ‘The Word of Hagar’

The Word of Hagar front cover
The Word of Hagar lyrics
Hagar The Womb

Suddenly a Punk record pops up on the turntable and… surprise!, it’s a lovely collection of good songs with sensible lyrics that sticks to the player for weeks. Formed as an all-women band in 1980, Hagar The Womb first performed at East London’s Autonomy Centre Wapping venue, ran by Crass and Poison Girls members. In addition to gigs, the short-lived venue (1980-2) also hosted book fairs, zine conventions, films, debates and political workshops (see here). By the time of their first official release, the 1983 12in The Word of Hagar, the all-female lineup of Ruth, Karen and Janet (aka Janetti Spaghetti, guitar) was augmented by Mitch Flacko on bass, Paul Permo on guitar and Chris on drums. What really makes this disc stand out from the usual anarcho-punk stuff is the quirky vocalizations and clever lyrics, as well as the excellent bass+drums rhythm section. The songs are actual songs, not frustrating, embryonic noise blasts of more ordinary punk – though this kind of music also has its own merits. A highly addictive record for this writer.

01 Idolization (2:50)
02 What’s Your Flag? (2:44)
03 Cardboard Theatre (2:09)
04 Dressed To Kill (3:06)
05 True Love And Faith (3:20)
06 Truth? (2:21)

Total time 16:30
12in released by Mortarhate Records, London, UK, 1983


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15 Responses to “Hagar The Womb ‘The Word of Hagar’”

  1. 1 Art O'Flosing May 13, 2010 at 7:47 am

    It’s the “And now for something completely different” category ?

  2. 2 continuo May 13, 2010 at 8:36 am

    Well, I sometimes feel good music is one category in itself and labels are here for convenience only.

  3. 3 Jan May 18, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    Still 36, but I had my anarcho-punk year. Thanks for reminding me of Poison Girls. Dug up their classic ‘Total Exposure’, had a great morning listening to it, jumpin’ around the kitchen making soup!

  4. 4 the saucer people June 25, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    As an old anarcho-punk I always had a soft spot for bands like Hagar The Womb, Lost Cheerees, Omega Tribe, Rubella Ballet and Zounds in the sense they politically and creatively refused the narrow sonic straight-jacket of the cliched R&B three chord thrash of many bands of that genre who were content to simply duplicate Crass circa the 1978 Feeding Of The 5000 album.

    Hitch-hiking up and down the country when I was 14 to watch all the anarcho bands it was actually a relief whenever bands like Hagar The Womb were on the bill because usually it was a ten-eleven band mini-festival held in some community hall and so many of the bands were just identikit copies of each other that you just felt drained by the sameness wheras HTW stood out both aesthetically (not restricting themselves to black combats!) and musically (sometimes slightly shambolic and other times locked tight) and were always a welcome relief.

    Even the choice of the yellow coloured sleeve of the 12 Inch was a knowing rejection of the standard Crass inspired black & white lettrasetted cut-out collage.

    It is interesting how nearly thirty years later the anarcho-punk albums of bands like Conflict, Amebix, Anti-Sect and early Crass sound so dated and albums like Hagar The Womb’s, Zounds ‘Curse Of The Zounds’ and Omega Tribe’s first album still have an almost funky freshness to them…well crafted, funny and sometimes even experimental.

    many thanks for sharing this great 12 Inch, nearly 270 downloads and four comments! The old anarcho-punk “don’t be a passive consumer, contribute something, anything!” is so alive and kicking!

  5. 5 continuo June 25, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    Well, Crass is a good point of reference, IMO, and many interesting punk bands collaborated with Crass on not-for-profit projects. I’ll investigate some of the bands you mention. Always curious about new names. Thanks for your interesting comment.

  6. 6 Art O'Flosing June 26, 2010 at 9:12 am

    Nice comment Saucer People, I wanted to add Flux of Pink Indians and (of course) still active The Ex (and the Rondos also from NL / anarcho punk is not reserved for Uk bands !).
    Thanks Continuo for the Kill Your Pet Puppy’s link (> I add The Mob to the list).
    Do you know Jeffrey Lewis ? He has made an entire CD of Crass covers in a Folk/pop way, that shows the universal range of this music.
    Have a nice day.

  7. 7 continuo June 26, 2010 at 9:29 am

    I’ll give a try to Jeffrey Lewis. . . and to Flux of Pink Indians, of course!

  8. 8 KK July 2, 2010 at 9:04 am

    Yes, dress up, dance, be absurd, say something serious with a smile on your face. This is pertinent and vital music. Once an anarcho-punk always an anarcho-punk.

  9. 9 continuo July 2, 2010 at 9:31 am

    I see the genre has faithful followers.

  10. 10 Nick Hydra February 21, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    It’s called “WORD OF THE WOMB”!

  11. 11 continuo February 21, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    Oops. My mistake.

  12. 12 Steven August 6, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    Thanks, wonderfull record!

  13. 13 R October 3, 2011 at 5:35 am

    Great band. Thanks for uploading the lyrics sheet. Mine is lost somewhere at my old vocalist’s house.

  14. 14 Dion March 27, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    not to mention icons of filth, androids of mu, poison girls, fatal microbes, alternative, dirt, rudimentary peni, the system, culture shock/citizen fish (i didn’t mention sub humans because I don’t like all the guitar solos), panorama in black (pre ENT), blyth power, epileptics (pre flux), freeborn, DI (early stuff was great) and all the other punk bands who had something to say….

  15. 15 continuo March 27, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    Nice list!

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