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Top Sounds - O

OBSTRUCTION - Demo {Boss Tuneage Flexipunk} A seven-track demo originally released in 2016 now given the flexidisc treatment (blue flex this time!). OBSTRUCTION is a five piece outta Texas and lay down bruising and incisive D-Beat Hardcore with high energy levels (think ANTI-CIMEX), but with a twist. ‘POC’ has a dark riff with lead parts more akin to the likes of SIGNAL LOST, the opening bars of ‘Obsolete’ sees the bassist running off some riffs that go where most D-Beat bands fear to tread while opener ‘Pressure Breaks’ has a groove of Garage Rock before the D-Beat kicks in. Like BORN/DEAD, this band takes the source sound, runs with it and makes something new, exciting and invigorating. Production for a demo too is stellar. The usual Flexipunk wraparound sleeve adorns this but minus lyrics this time; favouring an image of the vocalist instead. Another band to watch that’s been introduced to be by this, so far, exceptional series of flexies!! (22.06.17)

OFF! - Wasted Years {Vice} No introduction should be needed to this bunch of Punk luminaries. In a short time, they’ve released an impressive catalogue of raw, energetic Punk and, I don’t think it’s an incorrect statement to suggest that this might well be their best yet. There’s a bit more to this album, a few changes of pace (check ‘It Didn’t Matter To Me’) and some truly damaging riffs in album highlights ‘Over Our Heads’, ‘Meet Your God’ and standout ‘All I Can Grab’. Guitarist, Dimitri Coats, is particularly impressive throughout even cranking out a few leads that Greg Ginn would’ve been proud of in the early FLAG days. Morris, as always, sounds unmistakable - snotty, arrogant and pissed off. One fault I had with the last album was that his vocal seemed to be too over-powering in the mix; here the balance is perfect allowing those relentless riffs the volume they deserve. Raymond Pettibon does the art work again, continuing a neat aesthetic theme to the band’s releases. If any skepticism remains about this ‘HC Supergroup’, one spin of this album should put the final nails in that cOFFin. (05.5.15)

OLDER THAN DIRT - Discography Pt.1 1990-93 {Boss Tuneage} If ya didn’t know, OLDER THAN DIRT was a Hardcore band from Southampton, England. This 20 track, 66 minute comp collects all the recordings with original vocalist, Mike Fox, being the ‘Harder Than Nails’ demo from ‘91, a flexi from ‘92 and the ‘New Age Of Rage’ 7" from ‘93. The disc is filled out with a compilation track and a eight song live set from ‘91. It’s impressive stuff for the UKHC fan as the band fused classic DC-esque Hardcore with some intricate riffing and the odd moment of metallic chugging to create something along the lines of BATTERY meets DRI with a hint of the UK’s SHUTDOWN. Highlights are plenty be it ‘Faceless’ that has dynamics worthy of GOVERNMENT ISSUE, the bruising, guitar thuggery of ‘Racist Bullshit’ and just about the entire ‘New Age Of Rage’ 7" that saw an additional guitarist added to the line-up and a sound progressing into jagged, post-hardcore rhythms with shards of guitar flying out in all directions but without compromising any of the force or HC bluster of the band’s previous material. EP opener ‘Waster’ is probably the disc highlight. After these recordings, vocalist Mike Fox departed - which no doubt heralds Pt.2. (12.06.17) 

OLD SOULS, THE - Rock ‘n’ Roll Curse {Never Surrender} A ten-track album from this three piece outta Minnesota and, while it’s not bad, it’s not something that’s gonna change the world or even enhance mine. Think COCK SPARRER played via RANCID with some Metal overtones and you’re close. Unfortunately, the guitarist sounds like some cock-rocker as wanky leads infiltrate almost every song. When they get it right, as on ‘Born In Decadence’ and ‘Take Me’ in particular, it’s a convincing Punk Rock listen on par with BROKEN BOTTLES. However, the cold metal riff of ‘Under Jolly Rodger’ and the experiment in guitar wanking that is ‘Lost At Sea’ simply bored. The odd hit here, but mainly a bunch of misses. Looks like the label is selling Screwdriver shite - and going out of business. Fucking good job. No loss. (28.11.15)

O’NEILL, DAMIAN - Trapped In A Cage {Overground} Recognise that name? If you know your ‘77 stuff, you’ll know that Mr O’Neill was guitarist and chief songwriter in Derry Punk legends, THE UNDERTONES. That said, don’t expect no teenage kicks here! This is a 7", featuring two songs taken from a play called ‘Re-enrgise’ by Gary Mitchell. The lead song is a sparse track, fusing post-Punk moodiness with a VIBRATORS (think ‘Baby, Bay’) vibe. Flip the vinyl and you get ‘Love Makes The World Go Round’ which is a more UNDERTONES-esque, pacey Pop Punk number. I’m not too sure if O’Neill is singing, or whether it is Mitchell as he wrote the lyrics, but in keeping with the VIBRATORS reference, there is a distinct similarity between the vocals here and those of Knox. Even though this is surprisingly sedate, it is a highly listenable sound and on the strength of this, I hope Overground get the chance to release the music from the whole play. (22.07.15)

Hit HERE for material reviewed prior to 2015 including:
OFFICER DOWN, OLD MAN MARKLEY (2 reviews)