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BARREL KICK - From the Past... To the Future (Society Records)
This is a 12 track album from French punk rock band Barrel Kick, this is a band I had nver come across before so it was all new to me and I didn't know what to expect, I read a bit about them and they describe themselves a street punk with Rancid and the Dropkicks as influences, neither float my boat so it was a with a bit of trepidation that I started to listen to this album, well that was stupid as this is a great blast of street punk, superb album!! The band are from Rennes and consist of Jex, vocals and guitar, Ben guitar and backing vocals, Thierry bass and backing vocals and drummer Crhris Kaos, all exceptionally talented musicians, really tight band.
The opening track sets up the whole album "Beer Barrel Kick" just blasts out, great sing along track and it just blasts on from here in 12 rollicking good old punk rock tunes that get your toes tapping and you shouting along with the chorus, just as it should be, "Son by Blood" is a prime example, you just sing along, great chorus. All the songs on here are superbly crafted, catchy chorus, great hooks and shouted out backing vocals, brilliant stuff!!! Other tracks to mention other than the two I have already talked about are "Cops", "Sista" where you can really see their influences, check out the guitar work on it, and "Mutineers" another one you can belt out!! Not a bad track on this album, great listen!!
Just goes to show I would have probably have given this album a miss and it would have been me that would have been the poorer for it, check it out for yourselves its a belter!!
BOOTS ‘N’ ALL - Fill ya Boots (?)
About 3 years ago I was linked a ‘free download album’ of a band that a friend of mine thought I would like.
That download whilst lacking in production quite simply blew me away and I knew that this band would appeal to many of my fellow gig goers and promoter friends alike.
That band of course were ‘Boots n All’.
Hailing from the town of Warminster in the South West of England, a region that has given the scene many Cider infused bands over the years, this band were clearly carrying on the regions tradition of noisy drunken punk antics whilst wearing their working class hearts on their tattooed sleeves.
It is now 3 years since I first stumbled across this band and this ‘debut’ album is indeed very much appreciated by the ‘following’ that this band has now acquired after working hard on the gig scene and taking every gig opportunity across the whole of the UK.
The album ‘Fill ya Boots’ is a well produced combination of tracks from the original free download album and 5 tracks not previously available.
Released by Sunny Bastards who have a ‘knack’ of spotting great up and coming scene bands and produced by Dom at ‘Nine volt leap studios’ Melksham.
The opening track ‘Eras’ starts with a rallying call to the youth subcults we all know well...mods, punks, skins and is guaranteed to grab the attention of any of us ‘old bastards’ out there. It is a fast paced track paying homage to the remaining diehards of the scene that still proudly stand their ground and have yet not hung up their boots. This track is a fave at gigs and always gets a great response from the crowd.
There are 14 tracks on this release averaging 3 mins a track with a couple of 2 minute ‘thrash’ paced tracks.
For a bunch of usually drunken bastards they really done good with this and I cannot fault any of the recordings with all band members contributions being solid.
The drumming in particular by Chris really stands out and drives each track relentlessly and surprisingly Bob the ‘reanimated’ lead singer is actually understandable !!
Brilliant guitar and bass from Adam and Eccky who clearly have many influences from the punk&oi scene and fuse them to create this great sound.
One solid slab of fist waving drunken punk and oi that really makes me smile and will be appreciated by any that have a fond memory of them halcyon days when punks and skins would gather and get pissed together and stick 2 fingers up at the rest of society...
As ‘Boots ‘n’ all’ so reflectively sing...
?? That was the era, those were the days...you moved on but we stayed the same ??
This album is a must for all of our music collections.
BOOZE & GLORY - Chapter IV (Burning Heart Records)
'Booze and Glory' have been knocking around since 2009, so if you're into your Oi!/Punk crossover stuff, odds on you've crossed paths with them. They are currently on a massive tour of Europe, even taking in Brazil while supporting 'Dropkick Murphys'. So, you could say all that hard work is paying off!
'Chapter IV' is their 4th album, but their first album to be released by the legendary Burning Heart Records. This release certainly doesn't disappoint...
The album kicks off with 'Days,Months and Years' which features a piano intro. When the song gets into full swing, it reminds me of Dropkick Murphys funnily enough. Even a banjo raises it's head during the song, which you don't hear very often in Punk rock. The second song, 'No Rules' is one of my favourites and reminds me of prime Oxymoron material, which is always a good thing. A real two fingers in the air kind of song.
Anyway, enough of the comparisons because this band have a lot to offer. The playing is tight and the production is slick. There's a lot of good lyrics on this album too. A running theme seems to be one of hope and picking yourself up and turning your life around when your chips are down. A good message I reckon.
If you like your Oi!/Punk melodic (ala Bar Stool Preachers maybe) with a slightly American sound, then look no further. Some of their songs are so catchy they're almost in Argy Bargy territory!
BUFF MEDWAYS - Steady The Buffs/1914/Medway Wheelers ()
Billy Childish is one of modern music’s most prolific artists with the number of albums that he has released now well into triple figures. Three of these albums that he recorded with the Buff Medways during the early part of the 2000s are now being re-released by Damaged Goods Records on vinyl. Anyone who is familiar with his earlier work with Thee Headcoats or Thee Milkshakes will know exactly what to expect; short, spiky blasts of high-energy garage punk. Over the 12 tracks of 2002’s Steady the Buffs, The Buff Medways never really deviate from their trademark sound of primitive riffs and simple lyrics delivered with attitude. The direct approach and Childish’s straightforward song-writing really shines on numbers such as Sally Sensation and Vanessa Does Favours, but after a while, due to the lack of variety, you’re left with the sense that you’ve heard it all before. The follow-up album 1914 shares the same lo-fi production but attitude heavy approach of its predecessor though it is a much more rounded listening experience. At its heart, it is still a punk record but it takes its cues from a wider range of sources so that the surf-rock influenced instrumental Mons Quiff and the bluesy Evidence Against Myself sit comfortably alongside the 60s garage punk of All My Feelings Denied. On tracks such as Barbara Wire, there are similarities between The Buff Medways’ sound and the aggressive, stripped-down contemporary punk of Slaves and Wonk Unit. The final reissue, Medway Wheelers, is perhaps the most consistent of the three and contains some truly great songs. The opening track The Man I Am returns to the Kinks-esque riff-driven sound of Steady the Buffs but is much better executed and with harmonica added to the mix. The album continues in a similarly strong fashion with the band even getting close to ballad territory with The Poet’s Dream. Although none of these reissues could be classed as out and out classics, they each have their own naïve charm and are snapshots of one of the most unique figures in British music’s extensive back catalogue.
CHELSEA - Mission Impossible (Westworld)
I put this on remembering I used to quite like Chelsea as War Across The Nation has always been a classic track in my mind. What can I say i was pleasantly surprised. Chelsea pumping out of my speakers put a spring in my step. The whole album is upbeat and it's good to hear although Sands Of Time is a bit more melodic. I've had to play it a few times to be fair in my appraisal but it is a stonker of an album. It's good that Chelsea's 11th studio album is as full of energy and there are a few I found myself singing along to as this is on form. I highly recommend you give it a listen as Chelsea are back and you won't be disappointed!!
COMBAT ROCK - Need a Riot (Heptown Records)
Combat Rock - Need a Riot is the first release by this newly formed Swedish band fronted by Örjan Jonsson who is also the lead singer for Swedish Rockabilly / Psychobilly band Astrolites. The bands name also happens to be the name of the 5th Clash album and evokes memories of early Clash as well US punks Rancid.
Örjan’s gritty vocals make this track which definitely has overtones of similar sounding street punk bands such as Rancid, which is not to detract from the quality of this music but is a welcome addition to this genre of punk.
It is released on the Swedish record label Heptown Records and an album is due to be released early in 2018. I for one am looking forward to hearing more from this band.
Recommended for fans of street punk.
COMPLICATORS - The Complicators (Pirates Press Records)
In the vane of The Bruisers, The Complicators come at you hard with hard vocals, lyrics and music. From the 1st track Wake Up to the last track I Will, they have your head nodding and your boots stomping. Very impressive debut EP with a highly anticipated full length album that will be worth waiting for. You will be hearing a lot more from this band.
DIVE IN THE BOX - Relegation Battles (Violated Records)
From the streets of London with Menace to Philadelphia, USA & we meet Dive in the Box a bunch of American soccer hoodlums out to defend the River End.
Dive have released an album dedicated to supporters of Aston Villa, Newcastle United, Forest etc.
The Cockney Rejects they are not. The vocal range here is between a hardcore delivery & helium. The music is lifting (see what I did there) & is probably classed as American Oi.
Despite knowing little about football I found myself getting involved. The music got me on my feet though the scattering of verrucas on my right foot soon put me on my ass again.
Stand out track is " Away Match Rules" a terrace banger. Criticism... It has less numbers than my kitchen clock with only 9 numbers on offer, which in turn makes the album shorter than a pygmi on unemployment benefit.
Dive in the Box don't give up your day job but I quite like this.
DROOGETTES - (Violated Records)
FIGHT BACK - Religion = War (Self released)
With a name like Fight Back you can just imagine what a band would sound like and yes your right in reading this wording.
Fight Back do sound like the mighty Discharge and the uncompromising Varukers, they have a hard core twist with a Sick on the Bus resemblance.
13 tracks of punk hard core bliss for my liking and truth be known I have played the CD none stop for the past 3 days.
Great sirens intro then the onslaught of good punk ethics with very fast tracks through out. Its loud and should be played loud and really does sound amazing.
If you like Breakout or Call The Cops or Evacuate this one is for you and right up my street.
A good sounding Album from start to finish with hard vocals in the defectives style at times then drifting into a harder edge sound.
Strong bass lines with quick tight guitars and blistering high speed lead breaks which can give the cross over punk/thrash metal sound.
Hard hitting drums with that extra quick beat for all of us hard core punk lovers.
I do recommend this release as its punk as ruck spelt with a silent F and if I am honest this would have gone down a storm in the early to mid 80s.
I like the sound and lyrics and energy produced and would like to hear more from a band that have been able to put together a barrage of hard core sounds that highlight the worlds problems. Some quite appropriate wording lyric wise in todays society.
For me its a very passionate CD that does capture everything, Its punk no doubt, its Fast and quick, its hard and to the point but most of all it is today.
Released in 2016 by the band themselves.
FOREIGN LEGION - What Goes Around Comes Around (Violated Records)
I honestly didn’t know where to start with this review, Foreign Legion seem to have been around for a long time & I’m sure there’s been lots written about them. I recall seeing them for the 1st time in the late 80’s or early 90’s, I can’t remember where or when but remember enjoying their set & thinking I’d buy some of their material but never did. Now I realise why, this album originally came out in the early 2000’s & has only recently been re-issued on Violated Records so I will have missed out buying it 1st time round. Anyway, onto the music.
This album was produced by Mick Jones of The Clash & his influence is very obvious, I’m not saying that Foreign Legion are imitating Jones’ old band but the influence is there & if you like The Clash I’m pretty sure you’ll like this. Personally, I was never a huge fan of The Clash so gave this a listen with a bit of trepidation but was pleasantly surprised. I gave the whole album a listen through before I wrote a word of this & found myself happy to listen again as I was writing, even singing along to a few of the tracks. This is one catchy album & there’s no filler tracks, I wasn’t struck by every one but also don’t hate any of them which is always an issue with me, if there’s a couple of fillers on an album I find myself listening to it less & less until it gets to the point where I just stop. The Foreign Legion sound is a little light for my personal taste, I’m not a fan of hardcore or of screamy, shouty music but like it a little heavier, saying that I’d buy this album & have it in my car as one of my driving CDs.
If you’ve seen Foreign Legion live, which as they’ve been around so long there’s a fairly good chance you have, you’ll recognize most of these tracks from their set so I’m not going to do a track by track account but I will mention what for me are my favourites.
Firstly, Valleys Mentality which I’m guessing is in reference to the bands Welsh roots, this is my standout track & when I said the sound is a little light for me this track goes against that & has the heaviest sound on the album, the fact that it starts with a really catchy bass riff is a big plus with me. This track is just so catchy I can’t get it out of my head & have found myself singing along to it & giving it multiple plays.
Second for me is Smiling Assassin, the write up you get from the record label mentions the reggae influence on this one so my preconception was that I wouldn’t like it & yes, I’m a skinhead but much more of an Oi! fan than reggae/ska/2-tone etc. but really like this. A heavy Clash influence on this one but a really catchy riff to it which I’ve found myself humming a few times since hearing it.
The track My Town is the one that has always stuck in my mind whenever I’ve seen them live, I’m sure most people will recognize this one especially if I say it’s full title (There ain’t no punks in) My Town. I love hearing this live & the album version doesn’t disappoint either.
So Foreign Legion’s What Goes Around Comes Around a good album by a great, long established live band, they’re apparently working on a new album for 2018 so I’ll be interested to hear how that sound. If you like The Clash you’ll like this but there’s a lot more to it than a Clash appreciation record so I’d say get hold of a copy & give it a listen I doubt you’ll be disappointed.
HEADCASE - Satisfaction Guaranteed (Grey Zone Records)
13 blistering tracks by oi/punk band Headcase for your taking here. Yes this one is well worth checking out and buying and for me is what our scene is all about as this latest offering ticks all the boxes.
The descriptive sound is oi and punk well put together but a harder sound can be heard in some of the other tracks and very much to my liking.
I have not heard much from the band and if honest only knew they were from Belgium so they are relatively new to me but I’m sold on the band with this cracking album.
The band do hit on the oi/punk style football Drinking anthems which are very catchy and clear and crisp and sharp as a razors edge.
The first 6 tracks are really quick and then a classic cover no7 track which changes the mood slightly to which is refreshing.
The remaining tracks are harder and really do show how clever the band are in mixing a well produced album on Grey Zone Records.
I really do like clear vocals and the album just delivers that, snappy guitars with the odd lead break to which are short and not too complicated to bore you.
The bass lines are as hard as Thors hammer to which I like and the drumming is quality both in quick tracks and slower numbers.
Cracking album that pulls all the punches with nice cover and lyric sheet and after hearing this latest album I would definitely go see the band if they play the UK in the future.
LAST ORDERS - Time Gentleman Please (self release)
Cracking old skool oi with the flavour of the good old East End. This offering did grow on me quickly after a few plays.
Defiantly has the feel of the early oi sound with some familiar contributory vocals to which I can pick out, Kev your voice gets about a bit my friend.
You get what it says on the tin which is pure and simple oi which contains 10 lovely tracks to stick up the arty farty do gooders noses. Some true classic covers and live tracks at the very end.
Our good friend Franky Flame has also contributed his bit playing his well used organ which does give the back street London oi sound.
Very passionate tracks with no mess lyrics and in my own words Gun Dog sound. Drinking and fighting and football songs which are hard and rough as they come.
Nothing complicated here at all but all incorporated to a very nice sound with Gun Dog style vocals and zip saw guitars with loud bass and cracking drums pulling everything thing together like a West Ham and Millwall ruck.
Yes its raw and yes its in your face and not for the faint hearted so give it a go and if that offends well just give it a miss.
If you like a ruck and love YOB rock its for you, I’m sold on this one and its right up the owd Kent Rowd oioi.
MENACE - London Stories (Violated Records)
The Old School. Menace " London Stories"
What the fuck! Talking of schools, did Menace get a bunch of primary school kids to write the lyrics to this album?
The release kicks off with the pacey "So Fuck You" with a lyrical theme that is hardly breaking new ground in the punk universe. Politics rears its ugly head as early as track 2 with the hymn "Vote Punk Rock" Really? The punk scene in the UK in the last few years resembles the UK House of Commons with pointless in-fighting & back stabbers a plenty.
Menace sound tired - Whose singing for them now? Scrub that I don't care. The Menace are a poor mans Jam stuck in a 1977 bubble
That said 3 cheers for trying to break new ground with the reggae fused "Get Along" Still the enjoyment is short lived.
Other criticism.... "One Minute Song" is exactly 60 seconds too long & closer "Dirty Old Town" (last covered by the Pogues) sounds like a bunch of people dying horribly on a battlefield.
Menace are obsessed with London. Sadly this CD is more 'Old Kent Road' than 'Park Lane'
MUTHA LUVIN CHIMPS - The Unusual Suspects (?)
I always look forward to discovering new bands and hearing music I haven’t heard before and must admit Mutha Luvin Chimps have somehow passed me by, so it was with some excitement that I listened to them for the first time.
This is their second album, and the influences are quite clear from the outset - Buzzcocks, Ramones and Lurkers.
The album is 14 tracks long, all clocking in under 3 minutes some under 2 and opener ‘Bunny’ is a blistering piece of pop punk.
It took 3 or 4 listens for me to get into the album, and musically it’s very tight and the lyrics are more on the fun side. I think live they would be amazing but on record it gets a bit samey after a while. That’s not to be critical of MLC as overall I enjoyed the album and will certainly be checking out their other material.
Stand out tracks are ‘Bunny, I still miss Joe Strummer, Red Alert, Lies and Everybody’s on Medication.
For fans of pop punk, such as Buzzcocks, Ramones and Lurkers and do check them out live if you get a chance.
NEWTOWN NEUROTICS - Triumph Over Adversity (Live @ Brunel University, 1987) (Violated Records)
This band of course need little or no introduction if you're savvy with your late 70's/80's punk rock. Hailing from Harlow in Essex in '79, they soon achieved a very loyal following, which carries on today. Their lyrics are packed full of socio-political comment and Steve Drewitt certainly knows how to pen a good relatable story within his songs. A common thread is the working classes sticking together and not accepting what our government feeds us. A real snap shot of Thatcher's Britain...I'd like to say things have changed, but alas they have not.
As with a fair few people, live albums are not my favourite tipple. This is definitely one of the better ones though, with a good crisp sound which really captures the moment. Recorded at London's Brunel University in 1987, many of the songs featured are promoting their 'Kickstarting a Backfiring Nation' album on Jungle Records, aswell as many other songs inbetween. I love 'Never Hold Your tongue' , 'Airstrip One' and 'Newtown People' which has a sound and feel not dissimiliar with The Clash. They do an anti-apartheid song called 'Africa' and even manage to cram in a cover of 'Stand By Me'! All of this is rounded off with their stone cold classic 'Living With Unemployment' and 'You Must Be Mad'.
If you like The Neurotics, I recommend you pick a copy of this up. I saw them play in Shoreham in Sussex recently, and they've still got what it takes. Check them out at Rebellion Fest next year. You won't be dissapointed.
NO QUARTER - No Sleep till Digbeth (Greyzone - yet to be released)
When I got asked to review this album I was looking forward to it as I like No Quarter but also a little skeptical as I’m not a big fan of live albums so we’ll just have to see how this plays out.
I’m happy to say that my liking for good Oi! music won out over my skepticism of live albums. I’m proud to say I’m a fan of No Quarter, I like their music, attitude & aggression & all the other bollocks that gets spread about them holds no interest to me. That said I’ve never had the privilege of seeing them live so that led to a bit of my skepticism as I’ve heard live albums from bands that I’ve had albums of & been severely disappointed as their studio sound just doesn’t come out when they play live. No such problem with this offering, if you’ve never seen them live either then get your hands on this you will not be disappointed & if you have then you’ll know what to expect! There’s a good selection of tracks on here, my personal favourite is ‘That ain’t what I call Oi!’ as that was my favourite track of theirs before I listened to this then maybe I was a little biased, but I was also impressed by this version of ‘Rat’. There’s a few well-established tracks & some from the split album they did with Bakers Dozen, which I can also highly recommend, so if you’ve ever listened to No Quarter before there’s a good chance you’ll have heard some of this.
One of the things I like about No Quarter is they have a wide spread sound, yeah the vocals are gruff but that’s how I like ‘em, but they’re obviously talented musicians & unlike a lot of bands take their influences from a few different genres. Yeah, they’re an Oi! band of that I have no doubt but there’s obvious influence from rock n roll on some tracks & heavy metal riffs & solos on others which in my humble opinion makes for a great sound. As well as the music there’s also some rather entertaining banter from the vocalist & crowd on here.
If you like No Quarter then you’ll love this, if you don’t then this is a chance to give them a listen & hear a good selection of their stuff & if you’ve never heard them then where the fuck have you been? I’m not sure when this is out, mainly cos there’s no bullshit about how great the band are or release dates etc. sent with it, but buy this & add it to your collection. I’m not going to do a list of ‘if you like these bands then you’ll like this’ because if you like Oi! you’ll like this, it really is good & if you won’t try it because of internet bullshit then you’re a fucking idiot & have just wasted a few minutes reading what to you will be pointless drivel.
Great album 5 stars from me!
NO THRILLS - Razorblades (Violated Records)
This is a full length release from Cumbrian punk band No Thrills, a band that has been around since 1998 and describe themselves as "punk rock till we die" no arguments from me!! This is a twelve track album released on Violated Records. So what do you get on this release? Well you get 12 tracks of great no nonsense punk rock from a band that are as tight as a gnats chuff!! All the guys are top notch on what they do, Pez on vocals, Jeeves on guitar, ox the bassist and Tony the drummer, really good band.
The album itself has twelve slabs of great punk, really good fast paced punk rock. All twelve tracks are cracking not a dud on here folks, all thriller no filler!! My personal favourites are "We don't want your war" a great anti war song, "Jimmy" cracking track, a singalonga classic and "Whats Inside" great lyrics, but it's a hard job to pick the best as it's a great album.
This is the best thing about reviewing the new bands you get to uncover, No Thrills being a prime example, a band I had never really come across before but one I heartily recommend you check out as they do deserve it. Great album, great band go on check 'em out!!
OUT OF ORDER - full Band and release review (?)
Ever get the feeling you have been cheated? Yep that’s me cheated out of discovering Out Of Order sooner rather than later.
Like most of us still in the punk and oi scene we think we know a fair bit about the scene in general, bands come and go and sometimes if we are lucky we stumble across a band that just sticks.
For me Out of Order are such a band, yes I had heard the name but the band just passed me by. I really do consider myself lucky to have found a band that I will champion maybe a few years later than I should have but better late than never.
Out Of Order hail from Canada which has a strong scene at the moment which is refreshing to know so opportunities are still available for bands to play along side each other and keep the scene going.
The first release was a studio album called Written on the walls around 2009, this was self released and the band are looking to re/press it later on next year.
Written on the walls has 7 studio tracks, 4 demos and 2 live tracks and is so impressionable and just really gives the taste of things to come.
For me it has all the attributes of a classic, full of punk and oi tracks with a slight influence of hardcore indulgence. Very fast at times but other tracks are slower giving the impression of development the band have gained. Melodic to the taste with crystal clear vocals that are hard and true, quick snappy guitars buzzing around like a angry hornets nest followed quickly behind with nice tight bass lines and thumping drums.
I played this as loud as I could and this really did get better and better and each track wondered around drifting along quite nicely but before I knew it the album had finished. Time to crank it up a bit and do the whole thing again, a music bliss to my ears.
The next album came along a few years later and is called Better Days and released in 2014. Both released on vinyl and cd alike. Those of us who just love the whole nostalgia feel and sound of vinyl this was released on Vinyl4bootboys/4subculture records. The Cd was released on East Grand Records.
Better days again for me hits the parts that other bands just seem to struggle with and this really does strike home. Full of energy and passion and commitment by a truly talented outfit who still pull all the punches with their second offering.
The band have lost none of the energy that was so apparent in the first album and able to give a relentless onslaught of pure punk and oi magic.
Its quick and snappy and again has blissful melodies that are a pleasure to behold and right up my street and my own words are, if like it you will like it.
Next up in 2017 was the latest offering Stuck in the Mud released on Randale Records. This was the first album I had heard by the band to which encouraged me to seek out more. You can check out that review on the review page.
Out Of Order have started to work on more material for the next release and this just feels like the band are coming of age, the passion and commitment are there, the melodies are there, the quick bass lines are there, the hard edge vocals are there, this really does leave me wanting more and I will be buying it.
The band have recorded tracks at one of our own Pressure Drop Studios in Stockport while the band were on tour in the UK in June 2017.
These 2 tracks are the icing on the cake and really do catapult the band into a truly recognisable force to which need recognition and I hope you read my words as true.
It is only my opinion that Out Of Order deserve a wider audience but that goes on merit. They have put it out there, they have put in commitment over years and I myself would like to see them play again in the UK and maybe push for a slot at rebellion. They really would fit in quite well.
If you like you punk and oi that makes the hairs on your neck stand to attention, go seek the band out and give em a go.
PARA ELITE - Battle Cry Anthems The Complete Studio Recordings (Grey Zone Records)
21 tracks of hard as nails Skinhead oi rock from Para Elite for your delight. Released on Grey Zone Records and Street Rock Records to which you must check out in my opinion.
Not heard the band before but its in your face patriotic skinhead rock in the vein of old skool oi with a feel of some quite traditional skinhead bands sounding like Condemned 84.
The tracks are hard and to the point and no fuss but just pure impact what you would expect from a skinhead oi band.
Full of energy and aggression and patriotism through out containing some quite powerful lyrics which may put some off.
The whole cd is clear and crisp yet has hard rough edged vocals to which you can chorus along with.
Guitars are simple in places but can be intricate in certain tracks and come across packed full of aggressive riffs and lead breaks just in the right places.
Bass lines are tight and hard and clear with very little muffled sound to which I like. Drumming is again clear and crisp and ticks along quite nice just to get your feet tapping.
The band do come across in the sound and style that they are not to be messed with and they are up for that patriotic ruck.
A good pulsating 21 track cd/album get your teeth into, yep its rough, yep its raw and yes its real.
Not for the faint hearted.
SPUNK VOLCANO - Not Wired Up Right (STP Records)
Fantastic 11 track CD/Album to get your teeth into by the completely bonkers Spunk Volcano and The Eruptions punk band.
People who have this mind set are really are the next step away from a straight jacket and the nut house, suppose I should be included and have my one way ticket ready to join them.
I do like the tongue in cheek tracks which would be everyone of them as they are fun and not too serious and quite laughable. The cd is packed full of energy and melodies to which you would expect from the off shoot band of the crazy band Dirt Box Disco. Which came first the chicken or the egg or SVATE or DBD you may ask but really who cares both bands are good live, produce great albums and are completely nutty in their writing. I can relate to the whole album and this keeps me entertained throughout but not for the under 5s I say with a huge grin on my face.
Some very funny tracks indeed for those of us who are not too serious about life in general and can see the funny side of things.
SVATE have captured the whole sense of fun and just hit all the key points in their crazy song writing to which has everything in the right place.
The chorus has all the oooooooooos and rrrrrrrrrrrrs in right place which is refreshing to the taste and the melodies just jump out like a mad jumping box of frogs.
Both guitars are powerful and just complement each other with great riffs and good strong lead breaks. The bass thumps like a rampant rabbit stuck in your mothers top draw, bursting with energy waiting to get out.
The Drumming is quick and tight and clear and you can feel your feet tapping with every beat.
The vocals are clear and catchy and you can feel you really do know the person behind the mask, that voice is so familiar. The whole CD/Album is pulled altogether in a complete melodic frenzy of pure punk classics in the making to which I love.
Released on STP Records who really do put in the hours of our beloved scene and the CD/Album is a fresh release of 2017.
Come on lets all jump on the loon bus and give these guys our time as they surely do give theres.
TEMPLARS - Deus Vult (Pirates Press Records)
The Templars hailing from Long island, New York should need no introduction to most readers of this site.
Spanning 26 years with a discography longer than a sabbatical sword it has been one long unholy wait for the latest full album to be released.... Over 10 years !
I was rather daunted when Rebecca asked if my first review for this site could be this release as in all honesty I would not have described myself as one of their biggest fans and previous releases by them I have struggled to really enjoy.
The previous lo-fi productions that so many people out there clearly appreciate just did not ‘hit the spot’ for me although I love the track ‘The Sixties are over’ and it remained on a former spotify playlist of mine for some years.
So could Carl, Phil, Perry and Chris ‘win’ me over this time round?
The answer is an almighty ‘Yes’
The artwork on the sleeve was immediately compelling and in with the previous theme of the band’s historical interests.
This historical theme is prevailant in the intro to the first track ‘Take a stand’ with a soundbite of snorting horses, sanctimonious ramblings and a screaming maiden about to be sacrificed !
Now being a big fan of Cult and Horror movies I recognised immediately the soundbite as coming from the early 70’s ‘Schlock Horror’ movie ‘Tombs of the Blind Dead’ by Amando de Ossorio and just as I was thinking ‘great taste in movies fellas’ the guitar and bass kicked in and slapped me out of the ‘middle ages’ and had me bouncing around in me desktop swivel chair.
Brilliant intro and it blends superbly into the track so kudos to who ever thought of it.
The bass on ‘take a stand’ is superb and rather catchy.
The lyrical structure (not musical structure) and delivery of ‘take a stand’ kept reminding me of my alltime fave Last Resort track ‘Johnny barden’ .... you couldn’t get a better compliment than that from me... the chorus will be a surefire crowd pleaser at gigs and after just a couple of listens to the album I was also singing along much to the annoyance of my treacle indoors.
The next track ‘Hour of sorrow’ has pounding drums from the start and maintains throughout and has me bruising my shins on the underside of my desktop.
The lyrics to this track state that ‘for every minute of joy...there’s an hour of sorrow’, well I am in for a few weeks of sadness then ‘cos I am enjoying every minute of this album.
Anger and frustration at corporate powers and their greedy agendas are expressed in ‘a storm is brewing’ ... lyrics and expression that surely resonate with us all.
The track ‘Middle road’ is a surprisingly tuneful little number not dissimilar at all to some very early Clash numbers with all the instruments and lyrics very clear and everyone gets a chance to ‘showboat’ ... really liked this.
The track ‘Propaganda’ ...yeah, every apolitical types favourite ‘P’ word is fucking superb and I have ripped my headphones out of the jack twice now listening to this at my desktop due to getting carried away ...lol
Veteran hoolies and street ‘boppers’ will appreciate the contemplation of ‘Misspent youth’ a great homage to the days of fists and boots that for most of us are now a distant memory ...phew :)
In closing I think this album is superb and I am certain it will appeal to previous fan base as well as new listeners but for those out there like myself that previously had left the Templars out of play-lists I suggest you check this album out as you will be missing out otherwise.
This album has been on constant ‘shuffle’ for the last 4 days now on my phone and desktop.
Very well produced but at the same time not so ‘overproduced’ that it has lost the previous unique style that earned the Templars a ‘cult’ following amongst the scene.
THE STRIKE - The Oi! Collection (Violated Records)
Well here's one for all the ages! A must for all you collectors of Oi!
The Strike in my opinion were a very underrated band and never given the recognition they deserved.
I can remember being given a tape, yes a tape with this band I'd never heard of before and thought holy shit who is this band?
Well it was a couple of years later before I stumbled again on this band, this time on an LP and finally found out who they were.
Do yourself a big favour and buy this you won't be disappointed and you'll also have a piece of Oi history!
TONIGHT WE STRIKE - The Speed of Thought (Violated Records)
I read the record label bumf that comes along with this & was really looking forward to listening to this album, I didn’t know anything about Tonight We Strike but according to the fore mentioned bumf this was good for fans of The Clash, The Dead Kennedys, Bad Religion & Pennywise so as I do like DK & The Clash I gave it a listen. I’m sorry to say I was very disappointed, I’m not a big fan of American punk, with the exception of The Dead Kennedys they mostly sound like pop punk in the mould of Blink 182, The Offspring etc. This album made me think of the pop punk genre more than anything else, it’s all a little light for me, it’s well made with good production & catchy tunes but just not punk enough for me. I’d say if you like the lighter side of punk or are a big fan of American bands then by all means give it a shot but if you’re looking for real rebellious pink then I’d say avoid it & I’m afraid it’s only 1 star from me.
VICE SQUAD & DROOGETTES - split EP (Violated Records)
Split EPs and albums have always been a fantastic way to discover new music and over the years there have been some exceptional joint efforts in the punk world; from the Rancid/Nofx split as part of the BYO series to the blistering hardcore of The Faith and Void’s album. First up on this split EP from Rebel Sound Music is Vice Squad, a band who probably don’t need an introduction, having been releasing records on and off since 1982. The first of their two songs ‘Beautiful Toy’ kicks off the record and it’s a tune that perfectly blends punk attitude with a catchy pop-edge, reminiscent of The Vibrators on their first two albums. The entire song whizzes past with a buzz-saw guitar riff and a bratty vocal delivery that is filled with so much energy that you can’t help but smile! The second offering is slightly slower in pace but still driven by a snarling guitar riff and tied to a big chorus that gives the impression that this is not only a band who are enjoying making music, but also one who are more than capable of writing songs that are still relevant. Next-up is The Droogettes who offer an all-female alternative to the current crop of Oi! bands. When listening to ‘Bovver Girl’ it’s hard not to draw comparisons with Cock Sparrer as with its melodic, no-nonsense structure it could have been lifted straight from ‘Shock Troops’. The second song ‘Little Boy Bombs’ is, perhaps, not quite as strong as the first; but there are some nice shared vocals which bring to mind early Distillers. Overall, if you like your punk female-fronted and full of melody then you can’t go too far wrong with this split EP. After listening to this record, two things are very clear: firstly, Vice Squad can still produce music that is just as vital as they did when they started out and, with bands like the Droogettes, the scene has plenty of new talent waiting in the wings for when they can’t!
VIOLENT SOCIETY / EXTERNAL MENACE - Split EP (Violated Records)
This is a 5 track split release on Violated Records, there are 3 tracks from American hardcore band Violent Society and 2 from long term Scottish punk band External Menace.
Well what do you get from this baby, well first up were Violent Society a band that has been going since 1990 and are unashamedly hardcore punk, their three tracks are all off a very decent quality indeed, real good bog standard hardcore, great vocals from Pat , some nice guitar work from Squid and Jeff and a great rhythm secton of bass and drums from John and Jason, all three tracks are very good indeed, if I had to pick one ou it would probably be "Simcha", cracking tune!! But in all honesty all three tracks are top notch, good band well worth checking out.
The other 2 tracks on this split are from External Menace who have been going in one form or another since 1979!! Originally from Coatbridge it is absolutely brilliant that they are still playing and still recording, I remember them from years ago so this was great for me to get a blast of what they are doing now. Both tracks are super with "No Uniform" a real blast of good old punk rock, great track!! "Citizen Caned" is a slower track with a slight reggae feel to it, another great track.
This was a good release for me, good honest punk rock nothing fancy just 5 great tracks from 2 excellent bands, check it out folks you wont be dissapointed!!
Sorry no DVD or Video reviews this month, please get in touch if you have any you would like including
Sorry no fanzine reviews this month, please get in touch if you have any you would like including
THE VAPORS + THE CHORDS - London, 229 Club (November 17)
The Vapors. They have played Rebellion Festival right? A bit new wave, so I guess it was ok to go and see them.
On arrival I found the venue, a cool 60’s style place hidden away on Great Portland Street to be pre-dominantly full of males (Ok by me of course) There was more belly about than Dewhurst’s and more bald patches than the tyres on a 70s Chevette.
Onto the music. Up first, The Chords who still so much want to be The Jam. Guitarist Chris Pope is now on vocals and the only member from the nearly made it version of the band from the 80’s. Despite my reservations on this lot (Didn’t look the part) they delivered like Santa on Xmas eve. You forget how many great songs they did?!?! But this model of the band isn’t all about retro. New album ‘Take on Life’ has some bangers on it. It’s definitely a better investment than shares in Black Rock at only a deep sea (£5) Loved them.
As The Vapors amble on stage I spy a man vaping. I found this slightly amusing. As for the band, they are an odd looking collective but who cares as they rock like motha fuckers. Opening with ‘Bunkers’ the sold out crowd treat them like returning heroes and devour ‘Turning Japanese’ when it comes along like it’s the last Pork chop at a Roman orgy.
First album ‘Nu-Clear Days’ gets aired more than ‘Magnets’ (Only other LP in their arsenal) , but it’s all good, no, in fact it’s brilliant! ‘News at Ten’, ‘Waiting for the Weekend’ and ‘Jimmy Jones’ are hits that come swinging quicker than Anthony Joshua punches. The band don’t put a foot wrong and its evident that they are enjoying their new lease of life judging by the Cheshire cat smiles the band sport.
Talk about spoilt. We also get 2/3 new songs. Traditional closer ‘Here Comes the Judge’ borders things dangerous with the amount of electricity now present in the venue. No barbed comments or poison from me here. The Vapors leave a trail very few can follow. Skill.
EMPLOYED TO SERVE - Nottingham, Bodega (November 17)
Punk is dead right? So let’s see how this post-punk hardcore thing is doing? (what-ever the fuck that is?) I assumed it would be ok to go as the words Punk & Hardcore are attached to the bands genre.
I entered the shoebox venue to be greeted by kids sporting rucksacks & tea cosies on their canisters. This was not a good start. There were more weeds about than George Michaels garden.
So what of the music….Support band ‘Svalbard’ were playing as I arrived and playing rather bloody well. But as they play a brand of black metal they have no place here on Punk-Oi.
Onto the headliner…Employed to Serve. What can I say? You have to dip your paws into other musical areas right? The vocals would have sounded much better if the singer digested the mic and let the rumble from her stomach air from the PA, the stage diving was lamer than a Blackpool donkey.
Every song was repetitive. How tedious is that? Every song was repetitive. Very tedious isn’t it? So imagine being there. When the band announced they were about to perform a Slipknot cover something strange happened? As I cannot recall hearing it or what happened for the next 180 minutes except to say that the next thing I recall was waking up on the floor in my flat with an empty bottle of Cognac for company.
Employed to Serve….Here’s your P45. Unemployed to me. Shite.
Sorry no scene reviews this month, please get in touch if you have any you would like including
All music releases and books / fanzines, video / dvd's from the following genres will be reviewed;
Punk, Oi!, Psychobilly, Ska Hardcore and Mod.
Feel free to email gig and scene reviews for inclusion.