Monday, July 27, 2009

The Defects - Defected Breakdown (1983)

Want to hear some good punk? Make sure you get a copy of this LP (if you can find it, otherwise buy the CD). 'The Defects' was formed in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1978 having not a very good start. After playing many local shows the band sent a few demos to record labels, and when it fail they formed their own label called 'Casualty Records' and issued their debut single, "Dance (Til You Drop)". The single sold all two thousand copies, and brought the band to the attention of the UK music press. Soon after, 'Melody Maker' journalist Carol Clerk managed to get them a record deal with 'WXYZ Records', being labelmates with 'Anti-Nowhere League, Chron Gen, Chelsea and others. In 1982 the band embarked on the six-weeks 'So What UK tour' with the rest of the bands from WXYZ label. That same year their second single 'Survival' was released and managed to reach number 8 in the UK Indie Chart. The following year the band recorded their debut and only album 'Defected Breakdown' and sold out every single copy. The Defects released on more single title 'Suspicious Minds' in 1984 but it did not sell well. The band split up the same year and did not regrouped till 1996 to play their one and last perfomance at the at the Pavilion festival, which later came out on VHS. In 1994 Captain Oi! Records reissued 'Defected Breakdown' onto a CD format, including tracks from their single. The Defects were a great band, in a way they kind of remind me of the Australian band 'Vicious Circle'. I hope you like it.

1. Dance
2. 20th Century
3. Survival
4. Deprived
5. Killer On The Street
6. Bitch
7. Defective Breakdown
8. Conscription
9. Casualty
10. We Don't Care
11. Live In Pain
12. Head On Collision
13. Metal Walls
14. Thoughts

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Criminal Class - Fighting The System EP (1982)

Criminal Class had to be Oi! first Skinhead band. Even though Skrewdriver had a skinhead image around '78. They weren't really skins, they just changed their image from punk to skin due to fashion. Not even the 4 Skins were an all skinhead band. Criminal Class was formed in Coventry, England in 1979 being one of the first Oi!/Skinhead band to emerge. The band made their debut in the compilation 'Strength Thru Oi!' in 1981 by 'Deca Records'. Which turn out to be a catastrophe to all the bands that appeared on the compilation, due to violence that occured in South Hall that same year. The following year the band released their only single, 'Fighting The System' in 1982 by 'Tempest Records'. Even though the band had slow tempo songs, their lyrics were very powerfull. Had to do with corruption in England, the Falklands War, police brutality, black and white unity, and more. The band split up in the mid 80's and later reformed again in 2000 after the release of the CD 'Blood on the Streets: Oi! Collection' by Captain Records. Recolecting tracks from the EP, Strength Thru Oi!, demos, and tracks that were never released. Today, I'm not sure if the band is still active. I heard they were going to record some new tracks and release a new CD, but that never happen. For this EP I decided to add two more tracks, 'Blood on the Streets' from Strength Thru Oi!, and 'Running Away' the unreleased track. I hope you like it.

1. Fighting The System
2. Soldier

BONUS
3. Blood on the Streets
4. Running Away

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Saturday, July 4, 2009

VIDEO: 4 Skins - BBC Nationwide Documentary (1981)

If you try to explain somebody that has nothing to do with any of the underground subcultures what skinhead is. You can tell them 20 billion times that they are not racist or fascist. They are still not going to get it, and still beleive they are nazis. This is exactly what happen to the '4 Skins'. In 1981 the British press and the channel BBC made a big deal of the release of the compilation LP 'Strength Thru Oi!'. Acussing all Skinheads of being fascist and Nazis.
'Tony Wilkinson', a BBC reporter goes beyond the lines of what Oi! music is. Most of the blame falls on the 4 Skins, acussed of being Nazis, and the disaster that occured at the Asian community in Southall. Garry Hodges tells the reportes that they have nothing to do with politics, and that they don't feel responsable for the catastrophe in the Asian community while playing with 'The Business' and other bands. Saying that it was a set up. Well... like I said in the beginning of the paragraph, doesn't matter how many times you tell them, they are still not going to get it. As the documentary goes on, Wilkinson makes an effort to destroy the image of Oi!, after he reads a few lines of the song 'Blood On The Streets' by 'Criminal Class'. A song that is about black and white youth fighting for equality. But in the documentary he skips a few lines, makes it seem that is about stomping black people. I find some humour in the video, it's just silly and ridiculous of how much of an effort they made to burn the image of the working class youth. Don't get me wrong, many skins in those days they were violent, thugs, had their own gangs, and not every single one of them was an angel. But it does not mean they have any affiliation with the right wing. It's funny when he goes to one of the 4 Skins show, and some of the kids in the crowd are wearing a Union Jack shirt saying, "some are wearing t-shirts that grated with the Union Jack, which happens among other things to be adopted by the National Front". And so, the kid that is wearing the t-shirt tells him that he is not a nazi, but just proud to be British. Once again the reporter does not beleive him, and the crowd starts to make a fool out of Wilkinson by sieg heiling the camara. One thing is for sure, the skinhead image will always be portraid as a fascist soldier, and it doesn't matter how much of an effort you make to make the world beleive that Skins are not Nazis, it's just not going to happen. Today Oi! has cleared its image, but they are still some hippies and anarchist punks giving the music and skins a hard time. But oh well, who gives a fuck about them. The skins and their music, they were the only ones that actually went through a hard time, any other subculture does not have the pride that the Skinheads have. Oi!

Video Link

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Crack - All Cracked Out: Demos & Rarities (2000)

If there was any justice in the music industry The Crack would have been fucking massive! Been around in the Oi! scene since 1982, The Crack was one of the most talented Oi! bands at their time. Even though they sounded very similar to bands like 999 and other Mod Rocker bands, they had a large skinhead and punk following. The band made their debut album 7 years after they were formed, released by 'Link Records' in '89 titled 'In Search of The Crack' LP. The Crack appeared in numerous compilation, and participated in big festivals such as 'Holidays in The Sun' and others. The band split up in the mid 90's, and nowdays reforms everyonce in a while. Mostly for large gigs and festivals. Today, The Crack marked their name in the Oi! world, and their albums are still being sell like if they were brand new. In 2000 'Captain Oi! Records' released all 3 singles, demo, and rare songs onto one CD titled 'All Cracked Up: The Demos & Rarities', a great album! Tracks like 'Don't You Ever Let Me Down', 'Going Out', and 'The Troops Have Landed' are my favorite ones. Get a copy of this album either on CD or Mp3 format. Enjoy!

1. Don't You Ever Let Me Down
2. I Can't Take It
3. Going Out
4. The Troops Have Landed
5. All Or Nothing
6. I Caught You Out
7. We've Got A Right To Know
8. Take Me Away - (original version)
9. Nag Nag Nag - (original version)
10. That's The Way
11. Wait Till The Day Arrives
12. Battle Song, The
13. My World - (original version)
14. Hard Road - (original version)
15. Where Are The Glory Boys - (original version)
16. Don't Just Sit There - (original version)
17. Everybody's Dreaming - (second version)
18. Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting
19. One Of The Boys
20. Listen To Me

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

BOOK - Spirit Of 69: A Skinhead Bible (1994)

Ahh the Skinheads, who gets them? Portrait as thugs, bandits, violents, a little bit crazy, but the girls love them; all of it a bit true, or at least to some. Around 1965, the Mod culture was going for a split, it was coming to a downfall and some were forced continue with what the Mod scene was turning. By the late 60's some Mods had become hippys, and the ones that were still loyal to the cult did not wanted to be part of what it was turning into. Some Mods started to cut their hair shorter, wearing boots instead of shoes, and formed their own gangs. They were no longer Mods, but HARD Mods. Which it was just an early name for the Skinheads. As the late 60's were passing by and the 70's was moving in, the skins ruled the streets of England, becoming one of the most popular cult for working class kids. George Marshall, a skinhead from Glasgow, Scotland, released his master piece in 1994 titled 'Spirt of 69: A Skinhead Bible'. Explaining the rise of the Skinhead movement in England. Talking about the early days of the skins, and the adoptation of Jamaican music, to the glorious days of Oi!. The book is based on his personal stories, getting in contact with some of the people that lived the "Skinhead Days". A very good book if you want to know about the skinhead culture. The term 'Spirit of 69' was first said by the gang 'Glasgow Spy Kids' from Scotland. A crew that Marshall use to be part of. After the release of the book it became a worldwide term for the Skins from the early days that listen and danced to Reggae music. Marshall also released a continuation of this book, best known as 'Skinhead Nation'. Did not make much success as well as Spirt of 69, but it quickly sold out. Some people follow step by step what the book says, and turning into what Skinhead is. Some forget that is just a personal experience, and he calls him self 'NOT a skinhead god'. But apparently a lot of people skipped those pages. I'll say it again, the book is fantastic. If you really want to know about the Skinhead cult, make sure have some time to read all 176 pages of this book. I hope you like it, 'cause it took me a while to get this book

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Viciours Rumours - Anytime Day Or Night (1986)


Oi! have you ever heard of 'Vicious Rumours'? I hope you have. This is another great Oi! band from the early 80's who managed to be active till the late 90's. Formed in 1979 from South London by vocalist/guitarrist John Mundy. The band had a numerous changes in their line up, and not till '83 the managed to keep it stable. Vicious Rumours had their first show opening for 'The Business' and later supporting bands like the '4 Skins' and 'Infa Riot'. By the mid 80's, the band managed to get lots of respect in the Oi! scene with the release of their first LP 'Anytime Day or Night' released by Roddy Moreno's record 'Oi! Records' in 1986. By the release of their second LP the band started to change their image a bit, and started to walk away from the Oi!/Skinhead scene. Saying they did not want to have anything to do with the 'aggro' no more. 'The Sickest Men in Town' LP was released in '87 by Moreno's records once again. Both LP's would later be repressed by 'Captain Oi! Records' onto a cd, as well as releasing 'The Best of Vicious Rumours' in the year of 2000. The band managed to be part of many Oi! compilations during the late 90's and early 2000's. The band came to an end by late 1990's. The band later reformed in 2001, and did a gig in Germany. Their comback did not last long, and Vicious Rumours was once again forced to split their ways. The band always came out as a apolitical band. Even though in the late 70's, John supported the British Movement and did early shows with some RAC bands, which later cut all relations with any political sides. I hope you like it.

1. Anytime Day Or Night
2. Long Time No See
3. Too Close For Comfort
4. 3 Stripes On Your Arms
5. Runaway
6. Chopper RIP
7. Soul Patrol
8. What's A Nice Girl Like You
9. Tealeaf
10. What's The Pair On That
11. This Is Your Life

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