Won’t hear it on the radio, Won’t see it on TV
This is Condemned to Combat: The Real Sound of the Street
Alright, you fucking maniacs. So I missed last month’s edition. But I’m slippin’ this one in right here on the first of the month. Maybe I’ll get around to a second Volume for August to make up for it. Anyhow – Now it’s time for a bit of the ol’ ULTRAVIOLENCE!
I’m kickin’ it off alphabetically with a superb record from the Dutch legends Evil Conduct. 2000’s Sorry… No! This is one of – if not thee – best of their records, featuring immortal tracks like New Breed, Alive & Kickin’ (a song which was stuck in my head for approximately 29 months straight), Fuck The Law, and the obligatory Ultraviolence. Evil Conduct plays that great stripped down, roots punk brand of Oi! that few to none play anymore. Very fun, very skinhead, and with album art that looks like it’s outta some bizarro-world 1979 version of Tiger Beat you can’t miss. Get it!
Next up is Oxblood with their 2009 renaissance EP Thug Rock Music. As far as I know, they had a signicant line up change and a bit a of an ideological shift between this record and their 90’s era classics, which seemed to divide their fans into “old era” and “new era” camps. I don’t know the details. But regardless of all that horseshit, basically every track Oxblood ever laid down stomps, and these 4 are no exception. The sound is slightly different from their earlier stuff, with a dirtier production quality, sprawling garage rock licks, and a rowdy party atmosphere, but also with the tried and true intensity and gruff vocals courtesy of the man himself, Frankie Oxblood. Click that shit.
Digging deep now I’ve got Snix and their iconic 1986 French Oi! classic Quand Le Soleil Se Levera. What that means I don’t know. What the songs are about I can’t say – with one exception. Track #9 is Clockwork Orange so here the record is. Whatever it may or may not be about, it’s solid Oi! gold from the Golden Era. It’s got The Sound. When you hear it you know it. It’s influence is not to be underestimated no matter what language you speak. Even when removed from the context of the record, the album art itself has become something of a signal for those diehard Oi!sters that are in the know. Learn the secret handshake and join the club today.
This one speaks for itself, but I’ll go ahead and speak for it anyway. 1995. Templars. Clockwork Orange Horrorshow. This EP represents a watershed moment in the history of American Oi! It ended the 80’s and started the 90’s. It redefined the possibilities of the genre by venturing into new musical territory without sacrificing a single ounce of grit and hard boiled attitude. War On The Streets is nothing less than the quintessential US Oi! track. Album art by the legendary Alteau. (What happened to that guy?) Good copies of this small record can still fetch a price in the $50 range. If you don’t have it just fucking get it.
Last and most recent chronologically it’s Top Dog with their self titled 2016 record. This band seemed to jump up and start throwing steel-toed round house kicks and then slip back into oblivion. They’re from Carlisle in the UK, and they put out another EP after this. That sums up what I know about these guys, but this record comes out swinging. I think they jammed all their violence, attitude and energy into this 13 track wrecking ball. It’s got re-recordings of all the songs from their prior demo plus a bunch more. A.C.A.B., Violence, Shoot To Kill, my favorite 69 Stitches, and of course Clockwork Warrior. The aggro is dripping from this one. It’s fast, it’s punk, it’s mean, it’s Oi!, it’s ugly, and it rips. Stuff it in your ear holes now.