THE 4 SKINS: The Albums

This 76 track four CD clamshell box set rounds up all that Oi! legends The 4 Skins recorded between 1980 and 1984. They formed in 1979 and disbanded in 1984 – although new line-ups formed in 2007 and 2008. The booklet features in-depth liner notes and is packed full of rare clippings and memorabilia plus many unseen photographs from the time, plus the remastered sound is great.

The first CD features all the tracks recorded by the band’s original vocalist Gary Hodges. It contains all their contributions to the Oi albums, a rough and ready version of their classic “Clockwork Skinhead,” “One Law For Them” single and various live and demos offerings. It gives a great overview of what the band was and where they were going. The second disc contains their first album with new drummer Pete Abbot and singer Tony “Panther” Cummings joining. Their debut album actually managed to crack the top 100 of the UK charts…pretty impressive. The album was split into a studio and live sides, with the live music being “live in the studio,” not in concert. The album includes great songs such as “Plastic Gangsters” and “Yesterday’s Heroes” which are still terrific after all these years. Disc Three is the Fistful Of… 4 Skins album which hit No.11 on the Indie Chart and saw the band led by ex-Last Resort vocalist Roi Pearce. This is the album that I got into the band with and it holds a special place for me. “Forgotten Hero” and “Johnny Go Home” are classics that grabbed my ears when I first heard them and still sound amazing. The last disc is the rare live From Chaos To 1984 which showcases the band playing their hearts out for the punters.

The band was a great blast of energy and proved that skins could sing about more than being a skin, football, drinking, and fighting, they put a lot of thought into what they did and played as hard as they could. This is a great collection that deserves to be in your house and played frequently.

https://www.facebook.com/The-4-Skins-146803058682510/

https://www.cherryred.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/CherryRedRecords/

http://captainoi.com/

https://www.facebook.com/captainoirecords

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COCK SPARRER: The Albums 1994 – 2017

Cock Sparrer is a punk rock band formed in 1972 in the East End of London, England. They are considered one of the most influential street punk bands of all time, helping pave the way for early ’80s punk scene and the Oi! subgenre. This is a collection of their comeback album and more remastered and with bonus tracks added. The detailed 20-page booklet comes complete with rare clippings and memorabilia, informative sleeve notes and pictures of all the releases. The whole project, like the recent 1978-87 The Albums box set – has been overseen by guitarist Daryl Smith. When Cock Sparrer re-emerged in 1994, they added guitarist Darryl Smith to the original lineup and this has remained in place for the last 24 years.

With tight some tight playing and the continued energy that the band is noted for, Guilty As Charged is everything that fans had hoped for in a return. The band gives us songs to sing along to, and great lyrics that the listener was expecting. “Last Train To Dagenham” and “Because You’re Young” are terrific songs that keep the high standard that they are known for, plus you get the complete Run Away EP as well as a bonus. Two Monkeys includes a rare cover version by the band of the 1970 England World Cup Squad’s “Back Home.” “Battersea Bardot,” is a tribute to ill-starred actress Carol White and is not the usual stuff that they do, but shows that they have the skill to include a different sound to their album and it’s a definite treat. Here We Stand is now joined by the 2008 single version of “Because You’re Young” plus a duet with WWF legend Dan Hardy on “England Belongs To Me.” “Gotta Get Out” is a ripper of a tune that I just can’t get enough of, and “Spirit Of ’76” is another fantastic punk song that shows that they have the heart and soul to show the kids just how it’s done. The last CD Forever keeps the high quality going and proves just how vital they are to the scene after all these years.

It’s great to see a band that is still going after all of these years and still giving their all to the fans. They may not be the most prolific band with only seven albums between 1978 and 2017, four live albums, one EP, nine singles and feature on many compilations, but the music is quality and that’s what really counts.

https://www.facebook.com/CherryRedRecords/

https://www.cherryred.co.uk

http://captainoi.com/

https://www.facebook.com/captainoirecords

http://www.cocksparrer.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/cocksparreruk/

BLITZ: The Albums 5CD CLAMSHELL BOX SET

Blitz was a street punk/Oi! band from New Mills, Derbyshire, England, formed in 1980 producing albums until 1983. The band signed to No Future in 1981, and their first release was the 7″ EP All Out Attack. Their debut album Voice of a Generation received a five-star review from Bushell in Sounds. The original Blitz lineup consisted of Carl Fisher (vocals), Charlie Howe (percussion), Nidge Miller (guitar), and Neil “Mackie” McLennan (bass). After Fisher and McLennan had a disagreement, Fisher and Howe formed their own band. In 1983 they produced Second Empire Justice on the No Future label with Tim Harris (guitar, keyboards), crediting Mackie. Because of its departure into post-punk and new wave characteristics it did not do well with the original Oi! audience. The album was commercially unsuccessful at the time, the No Future label sank, because Blitz was their main income and with it the Fisher and Howe arrangement. According to Miller, the band split up, because the original members had no interest in “touring, plus they were never really into the music.” It was Miller alone who produced the 1989 album The Killing Dream playing all instruments (guitars, bass, drums) with Gary Bassnett on vocals. This 90 track, 5 disc clam shell box set features everything released by Punk legends Blitz. The 20 page booklet comes complete with detailed liner notes, pictures of all relevant record sleeves and memorabilia and clippings from the era.

I remember hearing the classic “Someone’s Gonna Die” and couldn’t believe hav much I loved it and how thick it sounded, like a jet-liner taking off in my face, I knew that I needed  more from this band. Disc 1 is the seminal Voice Of A Generation album which hit No.27 in the UK National Charts as well as topping the Independent Chart. This album is fantastic with songs like “4.Q.,” which lept me coming back to it year after year, and playing it for anyone who would listen. A great debut that retains the pure power and force that makes it stand out from the pack. Disc 2 is a 29 track collection of non LP singles, B-sides and compilation cuts that was mostly the way a lot of people, myself included heard Blitz mostly. Back then, compilation albums were a great way to hear bands new songs, rare songs and get people to pick up their own releases. This CD is chock full of fantastic songs and will be stuck in your player for hours. Disc 3 is a rare In Concert live recording from 1982. This is an amazing in your face concert showcasing the band playing their hearts out to an appreciative crowd. CD 4 is the No.5 Indie Chart album Second Empire Justice which now features the “Telecommunication” and “Solar” singles as a bonus. This is the album that the older fans just shook thier heads at, “where was the punk, the fire?” The band took a lot of stick for coming across more like Joy Division than the old punk band that they were, but they still had great songs and the album sounds good in the light of years passing. Lots of hooks, and the lyrics were still on point, just let yourself relax and enjoy it. The fifth and final disc is the band’s album from 1990 The Killing Dream, now restored to its original track listing and running order. With a drum machine and still sounding like a post-punk album, it has some good moments, but isn’t the punk powerhouse that people might have been expecting. It still has enough interesting things going for it that I enjoyed it more now than I did back when it came out.

Having this great band collected is such a treat and will keep you happy for hours and hours, just keep an open mind. his is the definitve collection of a vital band that more people need to hear.

https://www.facebook.com/CherryRedRecords/

https://www.cherryred.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/captainoirecords

http://captainoi.com/

SALVATION CITY ROCKERS: Too Young To Die…Too Fast To Live…Street Punk Is The Only Way Out!: LP/CD

French street punks Salvation City Rockers from Paris combine old school punk, some ska, a touch of reggae and street punk on this LP to great effect. It’s always a treat getting an album from a band that goes beyond your expectations.

This album is incredibly varied, and every song comes with a lot of feeling, emotion and melody. The fantastic guitar playing, pounding drums, driving bass and Hammond organ mix together for a collective sound that borders on terrific. Singer Alteau’s voice suits everything on here, from the punk rock songs, to the more 2-Tone tinged numbers. This has the sound of a touch of RANCID, and in turn THE CLASH as well, but it still sounds fresh and exciting. Song after song are tightly played and sung with conviction and power, making you want to keep replaying the album again and again. I can’t pick just a few songs that I like, since I enjoyed them all and will for a long time. They do a great cover of the Teddybears song “Punk Rocker,” and you get to see Bernie Dexter doing her great pin-up look on the cover and inside too.

This was a great old sounding street punk album that carries on the great tradition of Oi! into the future with a performance that makes your hair stand on end. Grab a copy, lace up the boots, and crank this bad boy up!

https://www.facebook.com/SalvationCityRockers

https://www.facebook.com/JoePogoRecords

http://www.joepogorecords.com/

OI! AIN’T DEAD: Various: CD

This album is a four-way split record with four Bands from four different countries: The Old Firm Casuals (USA), Razorblade (NL), The Corps (AUS) and Booze & Glory (UK). The CD comes with a twenty page booklet including pictures, lyrics and info

First up are The Old Firm Casuals who are widely known for their frontman being Lars Frederiksen from RANCID. “You Better Start Runnin,” is a great rocking song full of aggression, great bass lines and it is very easy to sing along to with strong vocals. “I Remain” has the bass player singing it and his voice adds a nice dark element to the track. “Love Street Kid” is a great sing-a-long anthem that is a real stand out. Next up is Razorblade with three songs. “Fighting The System” is a fantastic song that is both powerful and thrilling to hear. “Demolition Man” is about Alistair Overeem the heavy weight fighter in the MMA. “Back Once More” has that great Razorblade heaviness to it and is a great last track. The Corps bring four rock ‘n’ roll fueled streetrock tracks to this record. “Know The Code,” and “Making Enemies” are amazing tracks that give us their trademark sound, thick Rose Tattoo mixed with classic Oi! Both “Talk Is Over” and “Making Enemies” are tight tracks as well. Booze and Glory finish the CD off with four songs. Bouncy bass lines, heavy drumming, classic guitar sound and a great singer make these songs a treat to hear. “Friends,” England Will Never Change,” “Working Hard, Dressing Smart,” and “It Was Our World” are all classic ’80s sounding Oi! songs that are just amazing.

This is what compilations are supposed to be, a way to hear different bands and to hear good songs, this is exactly that. This compilation really is a treat and definitely is one to turn up and play loud.

https://www.facebook.com/rebellionrecords

http://www.rebellionrecords.nl/

SCAB COMA: Self-titled: 7″ Single

Scab Coma cover art

The long-awaited debut 7″ of SCAB COMA from Quebec City, Quebec and what a debut it is. Four biting songs of gritty Oi! that brings to mind other French-speaking bands of the scene like HARD TIMES and HORS CONTROLE by keeping their songs in French, and not just singing in English.

Every song on this EP sounds hard, tight and tough but still melodic enough to get your feet tapping. The songs are fairly short and even though I’m Canadian, I don’t speak French so I have no idea what they are singing about, but it sounds like it’s something important…I just wish that I had translated lyrics. The band plays with passion and the energy that they give off is infectious.

If you like Oi!, this is a definite purchase for you! Grab a copy of this intense EP while you can and put on your boots and braces.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/SCAB-COMA-Oi/121789471232003  http://scabcoma.bandcamp.com/album/scab-coma

https://www.facebook.com/contrapunkrecords  http://www.contra-net.com/main.html

THE PROWLERS: On The Run: 10″ LP

ABLP016

Montreal, Quebec’s heaviest Oi! band came charging down the streets with boots at the ready to stomp you into dirt, and with one listen, they prove that. A blistering collection of six new songs and a cover of STREET TROOPERS song “Oi! Against Racism.”

The band never disappoints and this EP just blows away everything that came before it. Tight playing, gang vocals, lots of Oi! Oi! Oi!, gruff lead vocal and anger aplenty, plus catchy songs that will get you singing along and turn into crowd favorites live. I don’t have a favorite on here because every song is a killer and I played the hell out of this and will be for a long time. It’s rare that an Oi! band has that great older, classic sound and just keeps improving and not wimping out.

If you are a fan of Oi! or just punk in general, you need to get this EP and turn it up loud! One kick in the face track after another from a band that’s been around for fifteen years and hopefully many, many more.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Prowlers/143209245743349  https://www.facebook.com/insurgencerecords

http://www.insurgence.net/  https://www.facebook.com/aggrobeat

http://www.aggrobeat.com/  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Longshot-Music/132509376830866