Saturday, 18 November 2017

B Squadron - This Is England


  I've mentioned a few times about the amount of great new oi music that's currently being released. There's been a recent resurgence of exciting new bands who despite often getting bad press and subsequently assumed to be guilty of harbouring extremist political or racist viewpoints are actually nothing of the sort. Most of these bands are apolitical, though in the case of the band I'm featuring today, that doesn't mean they won't write about hard hitting subjects. They aren't prejudiced, they won't discrimnate. If they have a beef with you, expect both barrels no matter who you are.

  I featured Leicester band B Squadron on here a couple of years ago around the time of their debut ep, Saturdays Soldiers. It was a superb debut but as I mentioned at the time they'd just split up. Fortunately (I'm assuming at least in part due to the buzz created by the ep) they soon got back together and have gradually built up a reputation as one of the grittiest and the best new bands around. They wowed the crowds at this year's Rebellion Festival and will be back there next year. It's been a while coming but they're finally preparing to release their debut album.

  Sons Of Tigers is out in January on Rebellion Records and it promises to be a modern day classic. Influenced by the likes of Blitz, 4 Skins, Cockney Rejects, Last Resort etc (you can check out frontman Travis' favourite songs here : it's an album that'll start the new year off with one hell of a bang.

  As a taste of what's to come, they've just released a song from it. This is about our green and (not so) pleasant land and it's called This Is England.....

Friday, 17 November 2017

Urban Vietcong - Attacco ( reviewed by Randy Smith from Rebel Time Records)

  Out of all the Top 10's I've posted on here thus far, my favourite is from Rebel Time Records' Randy Smith. The reason being the effort he put into the update, not only writing extensive comments but also putting up cool picture/videos for his choices ( It was a no brainer that I was going to ask him to do one of the regular Friday guest reviews and he's come through with another winner. If you're interested in checking out Rebel Time Records then here's a couple of handy links :

 Thanks Randy.....

In the immortal words of Forrest Gump: "My mom always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.”

 Well, in this particular case, the gettin' was good! And what I got, in the form of a FB message, was an introduction to a band called Urban Vietcong.

 Back in May of this year I received a FB message from a guy named Bebe who said he liked the label (Rebel Time Records) and wanted to let me know about the band Urban Vietcong (out of Livorno, Italy) which he sings for. He included a couple of videos and left it at that.

 Sidenote: after some FB back-and-forth with Bebe later on, I was stoked to learn that Bebe and Urban Vietcong's bass player both played in another of my favourite Italian bands, Trade Unions. Bebe seemed stoked to learn that anyone outside of Italy had even heard of Trade Unions. Look for Trade Unions on Youtube ...

 The first video was for the lead-off song "Attacco" from the band's debut release, a 6-song CD called "A Colpi de Machete." What the heck, I press play, and, immediately, just one bite in, realize that this is good, real real good. An ooey-gooey, super-catchy, 3 minute almalgamation of streetpunk/oi and left-radical politics. In fact, the whole album is quite simply a pot of political punk rock gold, chock full of songs of protest and resistance.
 Visually, the video starts off with a quote from Davide Rosci, imprisoned in Italy for his part in the 2011 riots in Rome that saw an armoured police vehicle set ablaze (He was released just a short time ago). Sonically, the video starts off with a sound bite from the movie 'Giordano Bruno,' something along the line of "all men are equal and have the right to think and raise their heads to the sky where the sun shines on the truth." Lyrically, the song deals with, as Bebe put it, "what should we, the proletariat (understood as workers, students, unemployed) do to organize, create and be more united..." Looking at the Italian lyrics, I noticed it name-checked, for example, the Black Panthers, the Viet Cong and the Palestian resistance and called for unity, organization, priortization and attack. A lot to chew on in just one song.

 Musically, Urban Vietcong hits the sweet spot. Attacco is an instantly memorable, melodic and meaningful song. It's taut, it's tense, it's tough. Catchy-as-heck, anthemic, shout-a-long streetpunk(as are all the songs on the album). The kind of song that has me singing along after a first listen. Personally, I'd say the band are, in terms of music and message, comparable to such equally inciteful and insightful contemporaries as Action Sedition, Afterboltxebike, Cor Fort, Mossin Nagant, RPG-7, etc. All bands that, I guess, could be lumped together as 'redcore' bands and all bands that I have on repeat.

 Apparently, the band will be back in the studio to record their second album early in 2018. Something to look forward to for sure.


Lyrics: " Discoccupati senza dio e rifugiati presi a calci in faccia trattati come feccia il proletariatovariegato e incazzato va reso coscienzoso e pure organizzato PRIORITA' è la casa e si difende coi picchetti PRIORITA' e il lavoro si bastona i sindacati PRIORITA' la scuola lotta con gli studenti PRIORITA' è la strada si difende dai fascisti Non stringeremo le cinghie le farem rotear davvero caricheremo uniti assalteremo il cielo Non mancheremo il colpo vi spazzeremo il via con il sangue agli occhi non sarà solo utopia Lo stato borghese si difende con i maiali sguinzagliando digos usando tribunali seduti sempre dalla parte sbagliata insieme allo sfruttato dietro una barricata ATTACCO vietcong a colpi di machete ATTACCO al razzismo come pantere nere ATTACCO come Palestina contro israele ATTACCO come Spartaco contro il potere "

  This is Attacco....

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Neutrals - Motorcycle Cop


  Neutrals are a couple of guys called Phil and one called Allan and they're from Oakland, California. Relocated Glaswegian Allan McNaughton plays guitar and sings, Phil Benson plays bass and sings whilst Phil Lantz is the drummer and is responsible for recording their music.

  Last year they released the snappily titled Promotional Cassette (official demo of summer 2016). It was such a good title they decided to call their latest release Promotional Cassette 2. They remind me a little bit in places of Suburban Homes with their cool sounding diy indie/post-punk tunes and I'd recommend you check them out on Bandcamp and Facebook (they definitely deserve more than their present 182 likes so click that button!).

  This is the lead track from the new record, it's called Motorcycle Cop.... 


Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Hi-Fi Spitfires - Doors To The USA


  It's been two and a half years since Hi-Fi Spitfires last appeared on here ( but the north east of England punks are back with the title track of their new 5 track cd, Doors To The USA. They've not spent the time away sat round twiddling their thumbs though as vocalist/guitarist Steve Straughan has been playing with UK Subs whilst bassist/vocalist Tony Taylor is in First Wave and drummer/vocalist Nelly is in Garden Gang.

  They've been playing Clash/SLF inspired punk since 2008 and if the song you'll find below is any indication, they're getting better all the time. As well as the new ep, there's plenty of tour dates (many on mainland Europe) lined up and you can check out details here : Also worth watching out for is the re release of debut album England Screaming which will be on red vinyl.

  This is proper old school style UK punk rock, Doors To The USA.....


Tuesday, 14 November 2017

First Base - Not That Bad

  First Base are self confessed power pop nerds from Toronto who's sound reminds me very much of Teenage Fanclub when they were effortlessly putting out classics such as Bandwagonesque, Thirteen and Grand Prix. They've been putting out their own string of impressive releases for the best part of a decade    ( and with new album Not That Bad they've quite possibly come up with their best stuff yet.

  The album is available this week through Drunken Sailor Records, I'm guessing you'll be lucky to snap up one of the initial 100 copies that are on blue vinyl but you can give it a go here :

  Digitally, you can find it here :

  Drunken Sailor Records have had an excellent 2017, as well as First Base they also boast excellent releases from the likes of Corner Boys, TV Crime, Booji Boys, Kuken, Cheap Whine, Marvelous Mark, Acrylics and many more.

  You can get more info on First Base here :

  This is the title track from the album, it's called Not That Bad but if you have a listen I think you'll agree it's much better than that....

Monday, 13 November 2017

Canker Blossom - Catch me when I'm Gone

  Formed in 2012, Canker Blossom are a high octane pop punk band from Baltimore comprising of Alicia Passmore (vocals/guitar), Jonah Gallagher (drums/vocals) and Nathan Leek (bass).

 They released their debut album, Gooner, in 2013. Album number 2, That's So Killer, followed in 2015 and they've kept up their run of biannual releases with new album, In Space. You can find them all on Bandcamp :

  Listing amongst their influences the likes of Bikini Kill, The Muffs, The Ramones, Operation Ivy, The Ergs, The Descendents etc, they're a band that should definitely be checked out by those of you who bemoaned the demise of Michigan female fronted punks The Lippies. They're fun, catchy and not without bite, they recently played The Fest and on 1st December they'll be supporting The Descendents in Baltimore. You can find out more about them here :

  This is Catch Me When I'm Gone....

Sunday, 12 November 2017

The Dreadnoughts - Back Home In Bristol

 "This album is a tribute to all the people who lived through the First World War, and to those who did not."

  I've been meaning to post something by The Dreadnoughts for a week or two but thought it'd be an idea to wait till this weekend with Armistice Day being yesterday and Remembrance Sunday being today.

  They're a folk/punk band from Vancouver who formed a decade ago and have a bunch of releases available from Bandcamp, the latest of which is new album Foreign Skies. Their first release in 7 years, it's a World War 1 themed concept album and it's a must for anyone who loved classics such as The Pogues' The Band Played Waltzing Matilda and The Men They Couldn't Hang's Green Fields Of France etc. You can order the vinyl or cd versions or stream it here :

  Don't expect just your basic folk punk album though, as they say on their site ( you'll get a sea shanty morphing into a Balkan dance, a Klezmer romp fading into a Queen-esque symphonic ballad and a Viking war chant crescendoing into a German polka. Intrigued? Just check it out for yourselves.

   "During the Great War, all armies on all sides executed their own soldiers for “cowardice” or for “disobeying orders”. They remained criminally unaware of the psychological damage that this new form of warfare was doing to the people they had lined up and shot."  

  This is Back Home In Bristol...

bless me father I have sinned 
bless me if you may 
by the power of jesus christ 
I came to you this day 

I am just a middle farmer's boy 
Jim wilson is my name 
and I've been out hard where devil runs 
I'll never go again 

well yes I know my duty sir 
and I know the god I serve 
I tried to stay out in the eastern line 
I tried to keep my nerve 

but all I could see were lily white arms 
and a gold and silken dress 
and all I could hear was a country dance 
and a calling from the west 

well I wish I were back home in Bristol again 
raising a cider with West Countrymen 
rolling in the arms of the the fair Kitty Wrenne 
back home in Bristol again 
back home in Bristol again 

seventeen days and seventeen nights 
we held up underground 
through misty panes and thick green light 
I saw death raining down 

and when it all was finished 
I just turned away in fear 
bless me father and and hold my hand 
until the dawn is here 


I hear the party coming down 
to wrest me from my cell 
father don't you pray for me 
or speak to me of hell 

just deliver me a little song 
and a final taste of rum 
and tell the buggers who shoot me down 
just where ol' jimmy's from