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‘Nobody else could make this music’: the return of underground punks Rudimentary Peni

Namechecked in the Oscar-nominated Sound of Metal, frontman Nick Blinko explains how he negotiated serious mental health issues to make astounding visual art and music

The succession of cult band shirts worn by Riz Ahmed for his Oscar-nominated leading role in Sound of Metal establish the insider credentials of the film as much as those of Ahmed’s character. One of them will provoke particularly unexpected nostalgia for underground punk fans: a white Rudimentary Peni T-shirt, emblazoned with the cover of the Hertfordshire trio’s 1988 album Cacophony.

Formed in 1980, Rudimentary Peni shuffled awkwardly at the edges of the anarcho-punk scene, their breathless pace and sheer oddity marking them as something else entirely. Though brilliant, they were far from natural performers, especially as vocalist Nick Blinko’s gargled falsetto-to-baritone screech was hard to recreate at full volume live.

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