A long-lived British hardcore band cited as a key influence by artists including Metallica and Anthrax, Discharge was formed in 1977 by singer Terry "Tez" Roberts, his twin brother and guitarist Tony "Bones" Roberts, bassist Roy "Rainy" Wainwright, and drummer Hacko. New frontman Cal was recruited as the decade drew to its close, with Tez moving to drums as a replacement for the exiting Hacko. The first band signed to the newly formed Clay Records label, Discharge issued their debut EP, Realities of War, in March of 1980, followed later that year by two more EPs, Fight Back and Decontrol. Tez left the lineup soon after, and after recording the Why 12" with temporary drummer Bambi, Discharge named Garry Maloney their permanent skinsman in time to record 1981's Never Again, which reached the number 64 spot on the U.K. pop charts.
In 1982, Discharge finally issued their long-awaited full-length debut Hear Nothing, See Nothing, Say Nothing, which reached the Top 40; a U.S. tour followed, and upon returning home, the group recorded a new single, "State Violence, State Control." Bones then left to form his own unit, Broken Bones, and was replaced by guitarist Peter "Pooch" Pyrtle for the EP Warning: Her Majesty's Government Can Seriously Damage Your Health. In the wake of another 7", "The More I See," both Pyrtle and Maloney departed; the singles collection Never Again followed in 1984, and with new guitarist Les "The Mole" Hunt and drummer Nick Haymaker, Discharge released "Ignorance" a year later. Maloney returned to the fold for the 1986 LP Grave New World, which also featured new guitarist Stephen Brooks.
Wainwright was the next to go, and Discharge spent the next several years in limbo, occasionally releasing live material from their heyday. Finally, in 1991 the group returned with a new album, Massacre Divine, followed by Shooting Up the World. By 1997, the classic lineup of Cal, Bones, Rainy, and Tez had re-formed; around that same time, a tribute album titled Discharged celebrated the band's continuing influence. Similarly, Metallica's 1998 collection Garage, Inc. featured two Discharge covers -- "Free Speech for the Dumb" and "The More I See." Time would go by before the group made any new music, but in 2002 they released an eponymous album featuring the original lineup.