kenya’s crystal axis breathes fire on “nyayo house”

November 26, 2019
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The punk scene in Nairobi is small, but one of the most vital in the world. Since our first brushes back in 2010, the scene has sharpened its fangs in the face of government repression. One of the leading lights has been Crystal Axis, a band whose anti-colonial anthem “Leopold” was one of the best singles of 2017. On their latest, “Nyayo House,” the five-piece band turns their ire toward the notorious government building whose basement detention center is known as the “Nyayo House torture chambers.”



Over a main riff that splits the difference between My Chemical Romance and The Dead Kennedys, they spit out venomous lines like “We are dissidents / The coup is imminent.” Crystal Axis has never sounded tighter, and vocalist Ahmed Bulhan sings with a serious fire, while he breaks down the sacrifices in freedom people make to feel secure. “Government’s loving it while we clapping hands raising flags / New faces to leave ’em blameless, no changes and that’s facts.” In the face of widespread corruption and repression, Crystal Axis’ “Nyayo House” is a statement as politically bold as it is musically.

Grab your copy of “Nyayo House” at And keep up with Crystal Axis on Twitter. @CrystalAxis