CROPHEAD RECORD ROUNDUP #8

Various: Zombie Rock – A Worldwide Tribute to Nabat LP
(Timebomb)

This slab of wax came out in the middle of the lockdown. Things weren’t looking good for Vecchio Son, the rehearsal space and music venue in Bologna run by none less than Steno, the Italian granddaddy of Oi who’s been singing in Nabat since 1979. It seemed that the rent could no longer be paid and Steno & Co. would be forced out. But Steno isn’t one to die on his knees, so he organised all kinds of fundraising campaigns to keep this important venue open. I’m not actually sure right now if part of the proceeds of this compilation were going to said cause, but I seem to remember so.

In any case, it’s only appropriate that this is an international tribute. Nabat are not just a local band, after all – their incredibly powerful Oi and borderline-hardcore punk was internationally influential and continues to be so today: in the 80s, you were as likely to see their name printed in British skinzines (which were notoriously insular) as on homemade patches worn by skins in Poland. Behold, for example, this picture sent to me by an old skinhead from the southern Polish industrial town of Sosnowiec. “A friend made this patch for me”, he tells me, “and I wore it on my camouflage army jacket. That was before I started wearing a denim jacket, so definitely before 1987”.

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Crophead record roundup #7

Tchernobyl: Consumé par le feu EP
(Une vie pour rien Vinyles)

Another new band from the Paris Oi scene – this digital EP (published in April 2020) is their second release. Their self-titled 2019 demo sounded like Brutal Combat: sluggish, brutal and a bit retarded. It did, however, contain some surprising minor key harmonies. With ‘Vengeance’, Consumé par le feu opens along similar lines, but then takes a sudden turn to frosty post-punk guitar atmospherics while maintaining its basic growliness. Although they hail from Paris, you could therefore say that the band distils the ‘best of Brest’. Or you could slam them for ticking all the trendy boxes du jour. But the truth is that Tchernobyl are bloody good. Better, in fact, that some of their sources from the 80s could have dreamed of becoming.

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Crophead Record Roundup #5

Reconquesta & Codi de Silenci: La força de la raó Split EP (Disco Nightmare)

Codi de Silenci and Reconquesta hail from the Lleida and Barcelona regions of Catalonia respectively. Both are skinhead bands of a Catalan separatist persuasion, and just as Catalan separatism has reached boiling point, these bands are on top of their game with their new split-EP, La força de la raó. Continue reading

Crophead record roundup #3

Bored of playing Ed Sheeran’s new album over and over? Run out of Grateful Dead and Frank Zappa bootlegs to explore? Grown sick of your homemade ‘Beyoncé Ballads’ compilation? Abdul Bleach Boy takes you on a journey through recent crophead releases, not suggesting but telling you what to listen to. Continue reading

Crophead Record Roundup #2

Keeping his ear close to the street, our incorruptible Abdul Bleach Boy is back to guide you through the latest batch of crophead-related releases. So put on your boots, splash on your Brut, and start stompin’. Continue reading

Crophead Record Roundup #1

With so many releases coming out every month, it’s important to separate the wheat from the chaff. We pride ourselves on being independent and incorruptible. Therefore, dear music industry, keep your filthy money, your freebies and your cocaine – we’ll write nothing but our honest opinions on your output (though if you offered a million, we could talk about it I guess). Continue reading