6.10.2018

HARD LEFT



















"we are hard left"
Year:  2016
Country:  US
City:  Oakland
Label:  Future perfect
Format:  CD, LP
Tracks:  16
Time:  35 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Oi!



















I am not the most qualified reviewer when it comes to Mod and Oi! music. Yes, I am familiar with the genre in general - I still spin Cock Sparrer or Angelic Upstarts from time to time, and Red Alert is the one band that has never been deleted from any of my iPods - but for the most part, I’ve been largely dismissive of anything current. In the mid to late ‘90s - around the same time I sported a bomber jacket and a suedehead cut -I curated a series of mixtapes called I don’t know anything about punk or ska or Oi!, so, yeah, I’ve been claiming to not know anything about the genre for a long time. But it couldn’t be any truer today, as a quick audit of my music collection shows I dipped out on contemporary Oi! or street rock, as it were, sometime around The Dropkick Murphys’ Sing Loud, Sing Proud album in ’01. In the interest of full disclosure (and with all due respect to the late Bruce Roehrs, whose column in Maximum Rock’N’Roll was one of my favorites,) I find most present-day Oi! to be nauseating and imprudent. So with that being said, I’ll ignore my savant-like urge to list every skinhead band that has “broken” or “heroes” in their name (137) and plow forward the best I can here with hopes that it doesn’t result in a boot party on my cranium. Having existed in one form or another since the early ‘90s, the New York-based skins in Broken Heroes want to make one thing crystal clear: they are not a punk rock band - they are an Oi! band. Musically speaking, it’s pretty much exactly what you’d expect too: hard-driving and palatable street rock-n-roll, with gruff-throated lead vocals that show the wear of years spent smoking cigarettes and/or pouring back bourbon, and topped off with melodic gang-style sing-a-longs. The production value is on the cleaner side of things, allowing for some guitar intros and soloing reminiscent of Red London or The Oppressed - a comparison that would no-doubt infuriate the members the band, but isn’t any less accurate. I don’t really see myself listening to this many more times, but on the upside I am psyched to pull out my old Bruisers and Ducky Boys records. And with that, I shall now recommends you to listen to these veteran "hard mods" (*Review by Nathan G. O'Brien ).
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