Won’t hear it on the radio
Won’t see it on TV
This is Condemned to Combat
The real sound of the street
Don’t need no one’s permission
Don’t need no recognition
Don’t need no radio transmission
This is C 2 C
They say we’re out of style
That it’s a dying scene
We don’t really give a fuck
‘Cuz this is C 2 C
Don’t need to check your credit
Your background? Just forget it
Take your diploma and fuckin shred it
This is C 2 C
OK, you knuckle dragging neanderthals. After much delay, it’s back. The worst noise on the internet:
Condemned 2 Combat. Real fuckin Oi! RAC & Skinhead Rock N Roll. Volume 23. Choke on this.
Short Cropped – Demos, Singles, and EP’s.
Here’s Brassic‘s single from 2019 Victory Day. It was kind of a teaser release for 2020’s This We’ll Defend on Hostile Class Productions. If you know Brassic (and you should) you know what it is. It’s pissed, it’s in yer face, it’s no apologies US Oi! and RAC . These two tracks actually left me a bit hungry, but the subsquent full length really hit the spot. At first I was skeptical of this release because I was afraid the gang had gone a little soft. But once I heard the full length it all came together. With a bit of a slower approach, but no less grit, it’s still gnarly and nasty Brassic doing straight up skinhead rock. If you like this, but it doesn’t quite whet your appetite (to continue the metaphor) definitely get a hold of the follow up LP. And if you don’t like this – get the fuck off my site. Crank this motherfucker up ‘cuz the music’s so loud – in the Warzone.
Now for a classic of US Oi! Try out Intimidation by Boston legends The Bruisers. Straight out of 1989 this record was the opening shot for a highly influential American skinhead band. The Bruisers sound evolved in a fairly logical direction which lead them sort of inevitably (and regrettably) away from late 80’s Oi! For me they peaked in the 1992 American Night EP era, but they remained legendary for their early stylings. Golden era Bruisers had that hard to acheive mix of hardcore punk energy, working class swagger, and belligerent patriotism that made 2nd wave Oi! inimitable. They knew how to lay down some charged up punk rock speed, but they still kept it plodding and garage-y enough not to lose the foreman’s respect. The title track Intimidation is an extensively covered classic. Get it.
Up next is a record by some of the cream of the crop of that 3rd wave Oi! Crown Court with their 2015 Ruck and Roll EP. The title pretty much says it all. Down and dirty skinhead street rock from London that’s everything it should be and nothing it shouldn’t. Fuzzy licks, lo-fi recording, and barely intelligible British attitude spit in your face. This version features a bonus track from their subsequent EP The English Disease, also released on Rebellion Records also in 2015. And when that bonus track opens up with a gruff 1 2 3 4 Crown Court Boot Boys – you’ll know the spirit lives on.
This one’s a shitty demo with an unknown release date by Denver old school hardcore/RAC act DC Stormtroopers. More Noise for a White Disgruntled Youth. Before putting out Resist to Exist on HC Streetwear in 2013, they made various recordings in the early 2000’s. So this record is presumably from that time period. The band was originally called Maximum 88 and that’s the first track on this recording. Other stand outs include More I See and Racewar. DC Stormtroopers go fast, hard, and nasty. (That’s how your mother likes it.) For fans of Platoon 14. It ain’t new. It ain’t pretty. It’s just ugly skinhead music for ugly skinheads. Blast this til your neighbors call the cops.
Here’s a revival EP from old school Minneapolis Oi!sters Degeneration. Degeneration initially put out a string of 7 inches (nice work) in the late 90’s and then an LP, Carry the Torch, in 1999. I’m a big fan of the sound on Carry the Torch. Making a comeback with a self released album in 2014 (Standing Tall) and then this record on Contra (another 2015 job) the boys re-emerged to surf the 3rd wave and show em how it was done in the 2nd. Standing Tall was pretty solid with tracks like 2-Stroke Buzz and Skinhead Problems, but this EP is kinda lackluster for me. However, I’ll still use it as an excuse to introduce this lesser known band. While their sound has remained unchanged, Fever Pitch is mainly a hooliganism record. Which as an American, and coming from an American band, has always irked me. (Although from what I understand there is (or was) something of a legit soccer scene in the upper Midwest. But the British Bobby’s on the cover art? C’mon.) Anyway it’s a decent record sound wise. Jay Mac is a rowdy tune and the obligatory late 20teen’s On the Internet is – well, obligatory. It just makes me miss the patriotic, politically incorrect Oi! punk jams like First Minnesota and Lefty Land.
Now for a single from the mysterious guys of US Oi! Hammer and the Nails. Rome is Burning from 2012. You can check out an interview with the band on Backstreet Battalion here, and find out what these guys were aiming for with this side project: harder meaner turn of the century Oi! (check), darkness (check), and songs that aren’t about having a laugh or getting in rucks (check). It’s almost as if this band was a veteran’s guide to what 3rd wave Oi! should be. (Unfortunately the 3rd wavers mostly failed because they weren’t listening to Hammer and the Nails five years earlier.) Anyway, these guys nail it. Title track on the A Side and they hammer your skull with Product of this Modern Age on the B. There’s a slew of other records from Hammer and the Nails, mostly on Rock ‘N’ Roll Disgrace like this one. Oh yeah – they’re from Boston too. You know the drill.
I’m declaring the next demo the *Official Sleeper of 2020*. From deep within the catacombs of the American underground scene, it’s Imperium. This is a self released demo. Apparently Imperium is a side project or roster share with the grind band Yeager. Seems like something of a Auscwhitz Symphony Orchestra / Dead Kommunist relationship. Anyway whatever it is we’re gonna need more of this shit ASAP. This 3 track demo will definitely have you revved up for fuckin’ warfare. It opens with trudging instrumental intro track Today Our Nation, Tomorrow the World featuring the iconic speechifying of Rockwell. Then Imperium launches into an RAC banger with some kinda grunge (!?) overtone on White Solidarity. Finally they close it out with a Skrewdriver cover done Imperium style. Imperium seems to have wrapped up everything they’re about in this one tiny package, and damn it’s good. Totally unexpected and unprecedented. I don’t know what this shit is. But if you’re into RAC you’ve gotta hear Imperium. Somebody cut these dudes a fuckin’ record!
Here’s a real piece of buried treasure. This is the 1983 demo from Oisterreicher. Judging by the band name and the language of the track list, I’m assuming they’re Austrian. The only other info I’ve been able to find on this band is their appearance on the infamous old school Belgian underground Oi! label Streetwise Records‘ bootleg compilation tape The Wonderful World of Skinheads which features their song Hey Scooter. (Yeah, that’s all one sentence.) That track is also found here on this demo. Streetwise put out several of these massive international Oi! comps on tape that are lost to history and the record collections of skinhead missing persons worldwide. Notably they released the debut singles for both Evil Conduct and their Belgian countrymen The Pride. (Dive down the rabbit hole of Belgian underground records.) And bizarrely, their first ever release was a record by British electro-funk (!?) group Freeez. (Head down this rabbit hole and try to figure out how/why they put out a record on Streetwise.) Yeah. Anyway this demo is not necessarily attributed to Streetwise Records. We were talking about Austria. I’m guessing this demo was most likely recorded and released in Oisterreicher‘s homeland. (That’d be Austria. Remember?) It’s 5 tracks of demo quality 80’s RAC. So that’s something you’re gonna want to snatch up immediately – obviously.
This is another demo. From 2017 it’s On The Ropes. I don’t know anything about this band. Somewhere in the recesses of my mind is the idea that they were from Las Vegas. But I probably totally fabricated that. Especially considering the demo was released by Canadian label LSC Records. LSC was a shortlived PC Oi! imprint that rode the 3rd wave until it crashed. Like Oi! Oi! Fuckin’ Canada Skinhead! But no, not Bootprint, not like that. Anyway On The Ropes was a good band that made a good demo. They appeared and then disappeared. These guys played good old no mess no fuss, Oi! Pent up angst blowing out in slowish garage punk lo-fi style. Blue collar without being overtly working class (does that even make sense?). Not political explicitly, just street politics. Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. Check it out.
Next up I’ve got an EP from German Oi! band Open Violence. They were too late for 2nd wave Oi! but too early for the 3rd, probably fortunately for them. Based on their sound I’d say they were way too hard boiled and not even close to PC enough for the 3rd wave Euro crowd. I was most impressed by this band’s ability to eschew the boring poppy continental sound of contemporary so-called German Oi! These guys hit hard and heavy with real Deutchland Oi!/RAC jams. (Ok, they do go a little punky continental on the last track. But I forgive them.) They were only putting out records for about 5 years including self released material, and that seems to have been it for them. They must have been too psycho and rowdy for the Oi! bandwagon. Anyway there’s no need to complain because here’s their first real record from 2011 Skinhead Rules released by German label Aggressive Zone Records. You… know… the thing. Do it.
What’s this? It’s the debut demo EP from New Jersey Oi!/RAC band Red White & Blue. What’s it sound like? Second wave, late 90’s US Oi! Patriotic skinhead thrashers for the working class violent youth. With follow ups on Pure Impact and Rock O Rama sub-label United Records, Red White & Blue spent a few years putting out a bunch of different records that didn’t really add up to that many different songs. Anyway the songs were catchy and the music was just what you were expecting the first time you picked up the record. And that’s a good thing. Don’t ask questions, egghead. Just grab it.
Bringing up the rear you’re gettin’ the 2005 EP by Sons of Liberty – Justice Denied. (That’s the 2014 Re-edition cover art, by the way.) Sons of Liberty is a bunch of vets from the Philadelphia scene, and it’s basically just ex-Arresting Officers mashed up with late 90’s Philly streetpunk band Tribe Thirteen/Anti-Trust. That being said, this EP, as well as the rest of the SOL catalog, is unabashed US Oi! With a smattering of records across most of two decades they’ve seen releases on Dim Records, American Defense, and Grey Zone Records, so you know they’re guaranteed stompers. Unfiltered American Oi! just doesn’t get any purer than this, especially in this time frame. Whatever elements these boys brought together from their previous musical careers – it all adds up to impressive chops. It’s fuckin’ Oi! Jump up and down all over this motherfucker.