This is the first review of five releases in the more than excellent Oi! series Rebellion Records is doing. These releases are strictly limited and come in a nice digipack. If you collect them all you will get the Rebellion logo. So be sure not to miss any of these records. The series is filled with older and newer releases. It is carefully selected and gives you a pretty neat chance to discover one of the most notorious subgenres of punk and hardcore.
First of all there are two things I have to get off my chest. The first thing is I am not the biggest Oi! enthusiast on this world. Never been and never will be. I like the classic songs and some bands really did some amazing stuff. But I have the same problem with Kiss. I like the covers much better than the original songs. Does that make me someone that doesn’t get the philosophy and charm behind it (and believe me, there is a lot more to Oi! than you would think at first sight)? Hell no. I always saw it as punks more muscular and outspoken brother. And most of the bands I love to death wouldn’t be here without this genre.
The second thing would be much easier for me to explain in Dutch but I doubt our foreign readers would understand words like ‘jankmuilen’ and ‘domoren’. Now some people live in this dark age of prejudice and other rather stupid ways of thinking that prevents others from discovering the truth about bands, people or other ideas that have much more to offer than you might think. Oi! has a rather bad name in some circles and I won’t even go into this subject at all. Read a little bit more about the genre and learn a lot.
But let’s move on to the first review I am going to do in this series!
It’s kind of strange for me to write about Razorblade. I have known these guys for ages. Besides, when thinking about Razorblade there is a little bit of jealousy involved. Because Daf managed to put his vision into an actual band that works on so many levels it’s pretty hard to deny the guy the status of genius. He understands Oi! and knows how to play it. Besides that he is actually capable of making it accessible for much broader audiences than only the smaller group it normally attracts. Of course he will tell you it was hard work and a lot of persistence but hey, if you write stuff like this with this much consistency there will be people that will admire you.
This collection shows how the band has grown over the years and shows a nice progression from rather blunt and direct songs into more melodic stuff without losing the trademark sound the band has. While the music stays hard, to the point and aggressive the lyrics are always fun to listen to. Bordering on the tongue-in-cheek level there is an undeniable sense of fun while there is always a more serious message that is loud and clear. Songs about drinking and having a great time with your friends are a recurring theme. And some more serious statements are pretty hard and lack some nuance but they never cross the line in any sense whatsoever. So this band has actually something to say.
So how did a guy that hasn’t actually that much Oi! in his collection get to like this band? Well, it has all the stuff I like. Raw and memorable songs, burly vocals, more rock than the Himalayas and more than enough promises of good times with your friends. Like I said, this band is pure Oi! but done so good it actually can convince even the biggest critic of the genre of its use. This band is gaining fans all over Europe and their next record is going to be harder than ever! Time to catch up!