Last Years Youth

Subculture zine — Issue 2




When and where did Bromure form, and who plays what?

Nina – Bass, 25, official Hagrid body double
Alex – Saxophone, 26, ornithologist specialized in starlings
Nico – Drums and vocals, 39, catacombs consolidator
Wattie – Singer and Guitar, 20, official biographer of Paul Doumer

Some might recognize most of the band from having played together in Maraboots – what stylistic changes have been adopted in forming Bromure, a few years down the line?

Yes obviously, the band formed around Nico, Alex and Wattie. The leftovers of Maraboots. Maraboots stopped because some of us left the country, but that didn’t mean we wanted to stop doing music. So we decided to start a new band with a new name, and what’s more logical to ask Nina who’s always been part of the crew and following us since the very beginning.  

What different influences does each member bring to the table? What genres influence your songwriting outside of Oi!? 

Nina and Alex were the first ones to take a musical turn to new-wave and french cold-wave. They got bored of Punk & Oi! . Wattie got seduced by the dark side too, so we can say that it’s an addition that you can maybe hear in the sound of the band. The only Oi! hardliner left is now Nico, who’s right now digging into his pre 70’s Indonesian Oi! records.  

Outside of France and Quebec, I’d imagine most of your listeners can only guess what the lyrical themes are. Could you elaborate on your lyrics, are there topics that you tend to re-visit at all or are you constantly moving to new things?

Lyrics are mostly about Paris … Paris underground, Guillotine Paris, Paris city of lights, Paris of the Apaches (20th century Paris youth gangs) and obviously skins and punks.
To be more serious I’d say that Bromure has really a dark and melancholic ambience, with a smell of dirty streets of Paris … of its past, but with a bit of hope and unity.  

Bromure live!

You’ve recently undertaken a pretty extensive tour of mainland Europe – how was that? Where were you most surprised(be it pleasant or not) about the gig? What were the top 3 bands you played with, if you had to say?

Yeah, we had a blast on that tour, we played 12 shows in a row together with our best mates from Squelette (Paris Oi! band too). We’re from the same crew so we know each other for a long long time and when Wattie started booking the tour it sounded obvious to him to ask Squelette if they’d like to join so we can raid Europe together !!!
Our biggest surprise was that most of the shows we played, we played them on our own, just the two Paris bands, with no local opening band! When Wattie asked the promoters why they didn’t book another local band most of them said that Bromure and Squelette were good enough to fill the room! And even if we were suprised, that was the case ! Every show was packed and with a very good ambience!
That’s always very surprising to see that many people coming to see two bands they can’t understand any lyrics !!!! It’s not like singing in English! Outside of France, Belgium and Switzerland, people can’t sing our songs !! But they seem to enjoy it nonetheless!
Anyway, the best bands we played with during the tour was obviously Squelette! WAYYYY tighter than us during the tour! You can see who practices and who doesn’t !! Then we played together with the brilliant Savage Beat in Amsterdam !! DOPE!
And we played together with STOKES CPH in Copenhagen !!! Such a good surprise for everybody, the old skinhead crew from Copenhagen playing angry Oi! with a double bass !!
We also, to end the tour, played an ultra-packed show in Paris (around 200 people) together with the almighty HARDTIMES that reunited for that show ! that was something special!

How is the scene in Paris? Elaborate a bit if you will.

There is a lot to say! But honestly, Paris Scene has never been so alive! We made a quick count and we listed at least 23 active Oi! bands right now!! That’s CRAZY!
There’s not lots of people but everybody is active, doing zines, booking shows, Dj’ing, playing in bands! You can really see a synergy and that everybody wants to do their part! We’re having the best times, after years and years of struggle and fights between each other, it feels good.
Right now… it’s pretty dead (coughs), but hopefully Paris Oi! scene will get out alive of the COVID Crisis!   

Insurgence records from Toronto have ended up doing several releases for you guys on this side of the pond – how did you link up with them in the first place?

Are there any other bands on the Insurgence roster that you’ve been a fan of for any length of time?
Steve from Insurgence got in touch with us, he wanted to book us for a show in Canada but it first ended in sharing a split with the mighty Street Troopers from Montreal! What an honour, it’s a band we’ve been listening to for like…FOREVER!!! We’re really happy about it and proud!


What do you know about the scene in Canada? Once all the virus dust has settled, do you plan on playing over here?

Well… we were supposed to play for the first time in Canada at the end of the month, but it looks like we’re not gonna eat Poutine and pancakes with Maple Syrup soon !!!
That’s too bad but we really hope that soon we’ll make it across the pond!
We have a special connection with the Montreal and Quebec scene as a lot of them sing in French, and they have many good bands !! Force Majeure, Beton armé, The Prowlers! Last year we even toured in Europe with Ultra Razzia (Wattie booked their tour)
But we also love the Canadian west coast with bands such as Alternate Action, No Heart or Bishops Green!   

What are the top 5 records you’re currently listening to?

The Mole – Zone
Years of Denial – Bodymap
Human Tetris – Memorabilia
Visitor – Expat
Parade Ground – Dual perspective

Stokes CPH – Never Change
Ultra Razzia LP
Hard Skin – Live in Dijon
Oi l’album Vol 2 (from UVPR records)
Gonna Get Yours – A thousand Faces

The whiffs : Take a whiff
The Remains
Beaten Brats
Tough Shit

West side boys – Au fil du temps
The Sound – Into the lion’s mouth
Killing Joke – Pylon
Survet Skins LP
Recidive Démo

Any final thoughts/comments?

Thanks for the interview!! We really hope your fanzine will survive the actual virus crisis and will go on into the new world!!! And we hope we’ll soon have the pleasure to see you again and share a few pints!

Death Ridge Boys

Death Ridge Boys

When and where did Death Ridge Boys form?

Death Ridge Boys started up around 2016 when Pressing On, a hardcore band that Will, Erik, and I played in began slowing down.  Will, for quite some time, had wanted to start a band that was rooted in an Oi and street rock ‘n roll sound more than hardcore per se.  Of course, that same year ushered in the neo-fascist shit show known as Donald Trump, which in turn inspired much of the topics and issues that we address in our songs.  The idea was to have a fresh sound, fresh songs to voice our disgust with the direction of this country, and it has evolved from there.  Paul Burdette (Criminal Damage, Tragedy) joined the band right as we were recording our first demo, which became the LP.  He had to bow out and was replaced by Compton (PMS 84, Petite), but we are back to looking for that elusive second guitarist, although I think we got our guy–details to come.  Will Harris (47 years old) plays guitar, sings, and is the main songwriter.  He owns and operates Overgrow Farm in Eddyville, Oregon.  Erik Trexel (42 years old) plays drums and owns Level Plane Tile and Stone, and next to Keith Testerman, probably hires the most punks for his business in town.  My name is Jonathan Hughes. I play bass and am 46 years old.  I am an ESOL (English to speakers of other languages) and social studies teacher at Westview High School, primarily working with immigrant and refugee students.

It’s fair to say you have a quite No Future records inspired sound but obviously are rooted in US hardcore punk as well. What bands do you consider to have been yer main influences initially, and have they changed at all with time? What subcultural and band backgrounds do you have collectively?

When Death Ridge Boys first started, Will had some clear influences he was drawing upon.  Certainly, a lot of the classic Oi bands, especially those with a political voice, were an influence.  You know, the usual suspects…The Oppressed, Oi Polloi, Red Alert.  But he was also pulling from a lot of rock ‘n roll, everything from Suzi Quatro to Chuck Berry.  We knew that any rock ‘n roll riff we played would get the punk treatment, just with our playing style and sound, so it was intentional to bring all these influences together. For sure we were inspired by a lot of bands on the No Future label.  Hell, we pay homage to Red Alert’s “City Invasion” EP with our “Fooled Again” 7 inch we released on Moo Cow Records.  Check out the artwork and you can’t miss it.  Certainly, our time in the hardcore scene bleeds into our band as well.  Collectively, we’ve played in a bunch of hardcore bands over the years (Talk is  Poison, Raw Nerves, Pressing On).  But it’s been nice to venture outside our comfort zone and try a different approach to punk rock. Personally, my first introduction to punk came from the classics (Ramones, The Clash, The Damned, Sex Pistols, Wire, Buzzcocks), but when I heard the hardcore echo from that first wave, I really fell in love.  You know, Dead Kennedys, Minor Threat, Bad Brains, D.O.A., and the rest of them.  Those bands knew how to expand and maximize the anger and energy of punk but still knew that you had to write memorable songs that get stuck in people’s heads, anthems if you will.  Blitz was the first Oi band that I was introduced to, which of course their sound, along with other No Future classics like The Partisans and Peter and The Test Tube Babies, really helped the punk sound stay grounded by writing songs that are classic, timeless, and memorable.  When I started going to shows on a regular basis in Boston and New York, there again was the melding of hardcore punk with the anthemic hooks with bands like Slapshot, Agnostic Front, Citizen’s Arrest, and Life’s Blood for example.  All were a huge influence for me.  My tastes have evolved quite a bit over the decades of being part of the punk scene, but honestly, I’ve really been drawn back to that sound.

Death Ridge Boys

How do you guys find playing in and around Portland, can you tell us a bit about the scene there? Are the Oi! and punk scenes segregated at all or is there a lot of crossover? Being a punk band playing in a very Oi! inspired style, do you think that you end up playing a broader range of gigs as a result?

Portland has a really extensive, broad punk music scene.  Blackwater Records (who released our LP and an EP) have a big imprint in town, hosting a great venue and building with a record store, recording studio, and practice space.  Within that scene, you have a lot of d-beat, raw punk, goth, post-punk, hardcore, straight edge, and Oi bands playing their venue.  Obviously there are other venues and show spots in town, but to me, they are a critical engine that keeps it going.  I guess the point I am trying to make is that Portland shows and the scene are pretty broad and diverse musically.  As a band that takes inspiration from multiple elements of the scene, we’ve been lucky to play with bands that would be categorized as punk, hardcore, post-punk, and Oi.  For me, this is one of the most rewarding experiences of playing in Death Ridge Boys.

Your lyrics touch on a lot of issues that while naturally written from a US perspective, are more and more relevant elsewhere. For those who haven’t listened to you guys yet, what themes would you say you tend to write about?

The themes in our songs are largely rooted in issues of justice, history, and the mistakes we continue to make and repeat.  Take “Tamir Rice” for instance on the first record.  He was murdered by police in 2014, and here we are in 2020 desperately trying to fight for racial justice and police reform.  In “Fooled Again” we address the rise of fascist governments and leaders that are on the march globally, not just here in the United States, and try to remind people that these tactics, ideologies, and divisiveness are not new with Trump.  Look at Mussolini, look at Hitler.  The cliche is that history repeats itself; I would adjust that and say history rhymes.  While not all of our songs have a specific political message–take “Working” for example, which deals with the grind that we find ourselves in with the day-in-day-out work routine, there are definitely themes of resisting the current neofascist wave.

What are some bands from Portland that people should take a listen to? Who are your favourite current bands of the day, both local and farther afield?

Portland bands that we really like and are inspired by are Old City, Visions, All Hits, All Worked Up, Long Knife, Public Eye, Suck Lords, Reek Minds, The Stops, Putzfrau, Mr. Wrong, and Rubble to name a few.  Beyond the local scene, I have really been digging Screaming Fist, Mass Arrest, Mutilated Tongue, Shit Coffins, Loose Nukes, Fuerza Bruta, No Heart, Lion’s Law, Condor, Negro Terror, Rixe, Hammered Hulls, Red Hare, Syndrome 81, The Royal Hounds, No Class, Chubby and the Gang, Amyl and The Sniffers, and of course the great Savage Beat!

Death Ridge Boys

I know Portland is a bit of a punk hot spot in the states – are any of you native Portlanders, and if not did you move there for the music scene?

My wife and I moved here in 2004.  Certainly, the music scene was a big draw for us.  I mean, the day we moved to town we went and saw Poison Idea, Forward, and Tragedy just down the street from the house we were renting!  However, it was Portland, beyond just the great music scene, that attracted us.  The city has changed and grown so much in the last 16 years. Some of it good, but with plenty of the serious issues that come with that growth: rising prices, violent and abusive police, systemic racism, homelessness, and gentrification to name some of the existing challenges we face.  Portland, like any city, isn’t anywhere near where it needs to be, but it really does feel like home and I want to be part of the positive changes we need to see.  I hope my work in education and our modest musical contributions help to chip away at the challenges we face.  Whenever I’ve gone on tour, I’ve always been happy to return to this city.  I couldn’t say that of everywhere I’ve lived.

Will is originally from Tennessee, moved to the West Coast in the 90s, and lived in Portland for a bit, but now is about two hours south of Portland living on his farm. Erik is from Wisconsin and moved to Portland in the 90s as well, and has been actively involved in the local music scene, both playing in bands and putting on shows and fests.

What have been your favourite places to play, and where’s next on the list for DRB? Also, what is your current discography, and where can people get hold of releases?

Canada, both Victoria and Vancouver, have been great places to play–great scenes, supportive fans, and amazing bands.  The Bay Area as well, as we’ve all played there many times and have a lot of close friends tied in with their scene.  Honestly, we haven’t toured or played out of town that much, especially compared to our younger musical endeavours.  I would love for that to change and get a chance to play other regions of North America (midwest, east coast), as well as Europe, Asia, and Australia.  But two of us have kids, and we all have pretty serious careers, so we take it at a pace we can make work for us.  Oh yeah, then there is this COVID-19 pandemic and it looks like nobody will be doing much touring for the foreseeable future.  Our immediate plans will revolve around replacing our good friend Compton on guitar who is no longer in the band; we have a good lead on who is going to be joining us, but nothing official yet.  Then it will be about getting back on the practice routine and songwriting.  We’ll see where that takes us.  The world is pretty fucked up right now; I have a feeling we’ve got something to say about it.  Here is our discography.  You can get physical copies directly from us through Bandcamp, and stream all of it from the usual places.

“Right Side of History” LP on Blackwater Records

“Savage Death” split 7 inch with Savage Beat on Longshot Music

“Fooled Again” EP on Moo Cow Records

“(Don’t Let Them) Divide Us” EP on Blackwater Records

There will be cassette releases this summer in Asia (Exit Records) and Europe (Offside Records) titled “EP Collection” that will have all the EP songs, as well as one-sided 12 inch version in Europe.  

Any closing comments?

Thank you for asking us to be part of the zine, reviewing our records, and all that you do for the scene.  

Insurgence Records

Insurgence Records logo

When and where did Insurgence Records form? What inspired you to get the label going?

Thanks, Mike! Good to chat. It’s actually our 20th Anniversary of operations this year, so we got the label going in the year 2000. It was just after the formation of The Prowlers… so maybe right near the end of 1999. A lot of things were coming together around the same time; crew returning from abroad, regular trips back and forth from Toronto (where we are based) to Montreal, trips to NYC, etc. Back then, we were coming out of a period of resurgence for the far-right. Against a backdrop of anti-immigration activism stemming from a Toronto-based organization known as the Heritage Front, fascist youth were festering around the record label, Resistance Records. Looking back, it was laughable to refer to them as skinheads. The actors in that performance were wasters and dirtbag metalheads; typical biker-gang fodder. On the sharper end, they had some of their more capable members training physically and ideologically through a group called the COTC (Church of the Creator). I know, weirdos, right? They wore berets and everything. Anyways, there had been a lot of street activity against these people who were terrorizing the community, injuring and crippling immigrants and soft targets. That activity defined the late-80s, early 90s. We had all grown up dealing with similar nonsense in the 80s but this evolved into the most sophisticated and organized we had ever seen. A group of us felt as though boneheads (the term broadly applied to fascist skinheads by the countercultural scene) appeared to have free run of the roost because there wasn’t anyone on the playing field to truly compete against them. They had opposition, sure.. noisy opposition coming from the trendy Left; the sandal and placard crowd. But to be fair, there was a bonafide community resistance to the threat. As skinheads, we were among those on the sharp end of that. In those days, the fash had no clue about real skinheads or true skinhead culture. So on many humourous occasions when they realized these non-descript baldies showing up here and there were not exactly sympathetic, it was too late for them.

Ultimately, we felt that it was time to respond with an opposing reaction to the musical filth they were putting across. Turning our music up louder than theirs was just another way to shut them up, right? Well that’s all it started as. We put out a compilation CD called Class Pride World Wide as a one-off thing and decided to bring over some bands from Europe. We wanted to show that there was an alternative to their brand of white noize. Undermining their support base, is what we actually ended up doing. We also wanted to show those on the Left that it was a mistake to constantly frame everything in the context of race. We weren’t going to play into that; certainly not at that level. We witnessed more than a few generations of SHARP come and go – and there were some really good eggs on the case – but we saw this as a working class fight. Detractors could say oh, it’s political.. we want nothing to do with that. Others would condemn us for not being political enough. Well, it was purely practical, is what it was. It scaled up like a machine. It was a vehicle that moved a lot of personnel around. If there was a region experiencing bonehead issues, we would set up a show in the area. Instant pest control. Insurgence was exciting for us because it seemed to make the problems of geography in Eastern Canada fade away. We travelled back and forth everywhere and it was a blast. It also polarized people, which was necessary at that time. You knew who would have your back and who would not be around when it mattered. Insurgence was more the group that coalesced around it, rather than a record label. It might sound odd, and no one would’ve ever come out and said this, but in our areas, Insurgence was viewed almost as a classification in the skinhead scene. If you were not associated with Insurgence, you were a walking question mark.

Now, you gotta remember things were not like they are now. It’s like a garden party now. Everyone can have a safe try at being a skinhead, casually move on to something else when it doesn’t work out. You can play around on Facebook and not have to worry about someone putting your windows out for trying to walk away from a gang. But at the end of the day, the rough stuff had to happen. Ground has to be cleared before people can build something better on it. People definitely built on it. Look at the scene now.

Bit of a heavy start to the interview, right? As serious as all that sounded, there was actually a lot of humour underlaying the whole history. It’s funny how you can look back on bad times and remember them as good times. Even though it was really annoying and distracting to have to dispatch that stupidity again and again and ultimately for good, we did make light of the ongoing situation. There was a lot of drinking. There was a lot of anti-social behaviour and maybe a heavy dose of joking around that would probably be viewed as politically-incorrect in the current frame. Not for public consumption, perhaps.

Heavy start to the interview there, eh! Do you think dealing with extremism in your scene in southwest Ontario is something that is still on the cards, or is it resigned to the ’80s and ’90s?

Well, I don’t think we’ll see the same as what we lived through. The lineage of that particular nonsense actually had roots in Canada going back decades. While we were young’uns having a private war in the streets, there were grown-ups on their side pulling the strings. The HF was even infiltrated by a CSIS mole (Canadian Security Intelligence Service) who actually did a great deal of damage to the group’s opponents. That chapter is over with, yes. But as we know, history repeats. The important lesson learned would be to fill the vacuum left behind and avoid having the next generation reinvent the wheel all over again. But nowadays you’re seeing a backlash in broader society. Freaks like the Proud Boys; egocentric, self-entitled, super-brats borne from internet isolation making a stand in the streets like everybody owes ’em something. Nothing to do with the ‘scene’, as it were. But man, all skinheads should smash ’em on sight for doing such an injustice to the Fred Perry polo! Anyways, world’s going mad, COVID notwithstanding. There’s a lot of people on all sides these days, fed up with their lives, quick to blame everyone around them… searching for easy answers and not willing to put in the required hard work. How about we leave that there for now and get back to discussing the music?

Was it tough getting the project going initially? How long did it take until you had enough money in the pot from previous releases to put out records solely from the proceeds of the label?

Well, as I’m guessing any label might speak of its early days, we have similar stories of ambitiously producing too much product, inventing the wheel on something and getting burned. It’s also a bit blurry, to be honest. There was a lot of drinking and fighting on the one hand. There were major music and/or social events maybe only once or twice a year, so there were always some gaps of leadtime where it was possible to recouperate and power up for the next slew of international mash-ups, releases, merch, etc. This also speaks to the low catalog numbers for Insurgence compared with some of our fellow labels. Even now, the same is somewhat true, apart from the drinking and fighting. Please. But things at least pay for themselves. It’s never easy, and as our friend Mike Longshot said recently, no one’s getting rich from this. You know what, maybe he’s just saying that! Heh. Just kidding, Mike!

How has it tended to work when releasing bands not from the Ontario/Quebec region, where you might not necessarily have met the members etc? (IE do you seek out bands, ear to the ground kind of thing or is it more people sending demos etc)

Well, that’s a good question, Mike. If you can believe it, we actually used to have a policy of not signing anyone who weren’t known to us in person first. That actually meant we would’ve had to have literally met face to face, or at least gone through some sort of static together and then remain great mates. It was really before the internet blew up. Obviously, that policy had to become relaxed somewhat, but I guess it’s always been more of an organic thing. Even now, we come across bands and people and wonder why in the world we haven’t crossed paths before. But I think this is all owing to the fact we’re involved in other things and rarely looking at what others are doing on social media. There’s a ‘Reviews’ section of the Urban Strife website being fleshed out at the moment. So we’re hoping to encourage more people to put stuff on our radar. But no, we’re not actvely scouring the wastelands for bands. We meet good folks like yourselves and settle right in working on projects worth getting behind!

Are you guys also involved in gig promotion in your local area?

I’m not the guy to speak too much about that one, but we are involved with that. It mostly revolves around the bands in the local scenes, getting together and, again, bridging some of the unfortunate geographical issues. We participate in the Montreal OiFest, which is by far, the best yearly event worth putting life on hold for. We’ve been trying to organize a regular fest in the Toronto area for some time now. When we first started out, we had a major event with international bands playing every May 1st weekend. That has long gone. It is also too close to the date of the yearly OiFest to justify resurrecting. Just when we feel we’ve got the perfect long weekend carved out, something gets in the way. Usually the bands have their misgivings about the date. Still scheming on that one though. Stay tuned because we’re just too stubborn and stupid to quit.

The Oppressed at the Insurgence 5th anniversary show - Toronto 2005

What have been yer most memorable releases to date, and why?

Definitely anything that accompanied a story or an event. So, literally all The Oppressed releases.. their connection to Singapore Oi band, The Bois. All the events stemming from those two acts, sometimes together on one stage. The Oppressed in Toronto, 2005. Maybe the largest skinhead show up here ever. Fans from all over the US came up for that one. Seeing them play to thousands of fans in Southeast Asia over the course of three mental days. Putting out the discography for The Press was memorable. Initially, we only had contact with Andre the original frontman who passed away. The connection was originally owing to NYC RASH, who certainly had a defining role in the early days of Insurgence. May they live on in infamy forever! It was personally rewarding to finally come to meet the other members of The Press after Andre’s passing. So, the Press split release with The Brass means a lot to us. And then there’s The Prowlers. They are real brothers to us. They are one of my all-time fave bands. I don’t think Insurgence would be the same without them. They’ve been there since the beginning. We put out a lot of Prowlers releases but my fave has to be the On The Run 10″. Always eager to hear what they have lined up to listen to next. Their upcoming full length is going to be memorable and it’s not even made yet! And I would personally have to say our connection to you guys out West, particularly with Off The Clock and the other projects you have in the running (No Heart, The Choice Few) has been a relatively new one but we’re working on some great Canadian content here. That’s what it’s all about. Man, that OTC – For You release is bending some ears. I mean, the one-sided picture LP looks sharp but I listen to that album twice through during a workout! Street Troopers is probably the best band we never put out. They were an Insurgence band, for all intents and purposes. They were on the road with us when we brought the Upstarts to CBGBs.. I guess we did actually put a record out for them in the end. They made a split with Bromure on the Inflame Singles Series not too long ago.

If you had to name 3 labels that you’d class as your favourites of all time, who would they be?

Ok.. that’s a toughie. Does it have to be an oi/punk label? Goldmine Soul Supply (had a healthy addiction to soul reissue collections).. Metalheadz (drum and bass nights in Hoxton Square).. ok, I don’t know if I ever had favourite labels per se.. maybe ones that I admired for other reasons. I liked Bridge 9, that old hardcore label, for how they ran things and kept it creative, even though the genre and most of the fans sucked. Esan Ozenki Records. I actually had to search up the name. But they were a record label tied in with the Basque independence movement, responsible for releasing Kortatu and Negu Gorriak. A lot of rock and traditional type music on there I wouldn’t normally go out of my way for. But it was just their presense and connection to something tangible that meant something to me. Contra Records? The partner label Insurgence seems to get along with the most, I think. We used to have a lot of lousy experiences working with various labels, especially in Europe. Maybe we were the ones being difficult sometimes. But when you have static with a group of people and everyone remains respectful towards each other in the aftermath… that says something. Never met the Contra people in person, but I have a feeling we’d probably get along well. Actually, here’s a fourth one; UVPR (Un Vie Pour Rien). I could sit down and actually listen to their catalog and enjoy it. I dig what they put out and can respect that they only put out local artists. Further to this, are we allowed to plug one of our own? We have an imprint label called INTERROGATOR! We release authentic-style black vinyl only originals for the authentic old-time Jamaican artists, backed up by contemporary traditional reggae and soul instrumentalists. That’s going to be a grower. Released a single for the legendary Cimarons at the beginning of this year. There will be a full length of all-new material with some guest artists coming soon!

What have been the best and also the worst things about running a label from your experience? Is it something that you’d recommend getting into?

One of the guys here once said his favourite thing was the personal touch involved with packaging someone’s order, taking the time to write them a thank you note, banging all sorts of extras into the box, handwriting the name and address on the front, and sending those out and around the world. He gets a big kick out of it. Because of this, we had to let him go. Haha These days are a little bit different from when we started out. But regardless of the times, we always strived to put out worthwhile releases. We never wanted to throw a bunch of stuff at the wall and find out what sticks. We never put something out on the sole basis it had something to say or came swinging from a certain corner. The artistic quality had to be there. We always strive to get behind artists that we believe in, so there’s some pride in that. Many of our releases are documents of the friendships we’ve made. Keeping connections with the supporters that keep coming back again and again for the music also makes it all worthwhile.

But yeah Besides that, the label’s gonna run you and it’s a lot of burden and hassle! Haha You have to view anything like this as a labour of love, ya know? It has to be. The other point is you need to be honest with people. We always agreed that the day we got on the wrong side of friends over finances is the day we fold up our tent. We’re still here.

What are recent releases for you guys that people should check out?

Ok, well our latest batch of releases came out and got shipped in the first wave of this COVID-19 pandemic. So, despite that we’re seeing a good and deserved response to the debut Rough Cuts LP – ‘Nobody’s Fool’, a breakout EP from The Elite – ‘Reason for my Sin’, and the Off The Clock – ‘For You’ release. Highly recommended. The North3rn Aggression comp is still hot. You need to get the vinyl version of that, just because the packaging came out so sharp. And watch out for LP versions collecting the first batch of four Inflame Singles Series.

Any projects in the works that you’d like to mention, and final comments?

This being our 20th Anniversary, I think given the state of play in the world, that doesn’t really matter! I think we’ll hold out until our 25th! Sadly, we were gearing up for what promised to be the biggest and best OiFest yet, which of course got cancelled. Well, let’s be positive and say ‘postponed’. RIXE, OPPRESSED, BOIS, PROWLERS, ROUGH CUTS, and then some. The Bois actually celebrate (but not really) their 20th Anniversary this year also. So, we’ll see how the year plays out. I believe it’s a write-off. But there’s an LP of brand new material from NO HEART in the can. As well, we’ve already seen a few bands back rehearsing and hopefully in the studio soon to record for the next two Inflame Singles Series releases.

Cheers dude!

Thanks for the interview, Mike. Appreciated.

DJ Scene – Halifax

Hi, can you tell us a little about yourself- who you are, where you’re from, where you spin records?

Hey! My name’s Adam Bryson from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. I’ve been collecting records since around 2002. Recently my friend Ian put an arcade in the bottom of a local brewery: Propeller Brewing in Halifax. It’s a great mix of old pinball machines, 80’s movies and soul 45’s!

Where did your love of music come from?

My love of music came from my Father Sandy who grew up playing bass for a number of local bands from the 60s to the present day. He showed me The Blues Brothers movie when I was about 4 and I’ve been hooked to soul music ever since.

What got you into collecting?

I think the rarity of some records drew me to collecting. Knowing that, when i was younger, you weren’t going to find this particular song, album or even artist on a mp3 torrent site and how lucky you were to physically hold it in your hands.

How did you get into DJing?

I got into Djing when a buddy of mine Richard Ramsden, a Spurs supporting bastard, and I were having a few Red Stripes one sunny summer afternoon and said “fuck it, let’s see what happens.” We did a very successful ska/reggae DJ night but much like most good bars around here, closed soon after.

Reggae or Soul?

I love Reggae don’t get me wrong. That’s where the roots of this whole subculture came from but you can cut way more carpet with Soul!

Top 5 tracks?

Girl Don’t Make Me Wait – Bunny Sigler
Why When Love Is Gone – The Isley Brothers
Love You Baby – Eddie Parker
Just A Little Misunderstanding – The Contours
I Can’t Help Loving You – Paul Anka

Last words?

If you’re ever in Halifax, look me up for a gig or record swap. I always have City of Lakes Soul Club merch to be sent anywhere around the world and I hope we can DJ some night together. Bring our two coasts a little closer. All the best! Talk soon!


Squelette/Bromure – Aux Bons Amis

2020 Pressure Records
Bromure / Squelette ‎– Aux Bons Amis
Bromure / Squelette ‎– Aux Bons Amis

Split EP by two of of the best bands going from Paris, France. With Squelette up first, they are full steam ahead from the 4 count on the sticks, the opening track “Narcisse” is a real head bopper with a super catchy higher octave bass line and agressive and catchy chant chorus – topped off with a bridge soaked in chorus/delay pedal. The second tune Trou Noir is in a similar brickwall 80’s French Oi vein but with more of a hook, and a bizarrely anarcho punk sounding post-chorus that is fucking great. A band as much for the UK82 punks as the skins, quality stuff. Next up is the saxophone laden Bromure with Pestifere, and it’s very much what you may have come to expect from the band if you’ve been following their releases – catchy, moody verses with a big sing along choruses. Closing the record is Tu Sais which is definately the stronger song of the two. Starting out with a nice chorus aided guitar lead, the verse is heavy and building with each note being sustained and played hard for good measure. A nice short and sweet chanty chorus aswell – the standout of the tune though for me was the melodic leads finishing the tune. Great release all in all, pick it up if yer so able!

- Mike

Concrete Bollocks – Disasters Of War

2020 Contra
Concrete Bollocks - Disasters Of War
Concrete Bollocks - Disasters Of War

Ripping punk for the bootboys from Derby, England. This is their demo from 2019 that recently got the vinyl treatment via Contra Records. Staying true to their Derbyshire roots, this whole record smacks of No Future acts like Blitz, Riot Squad and Violators – but also has very clear cues from Discharge, Broken Bones and Chaos UK. The record starts and ends with 1 minute 30 second UK82 rippers, while Excecution is a nasty mid paced stomper and in my opinion the “hit” if you like, is definatley March Together, with more of a hook and big shout along Oi! chorus. Look forward to hearing what they do next.

- Mike

Rough Cuts – Nobody’s Fool

2020 Insurgence / Contra
Rough Cuts - Nobody's Fool
Rough Cuts - Nobody's Fool

A relatively new band from Toronto, Ontario. As far as I can tell, this contains members from Dirty Work and Reckless Upstarts, and while musically it’s not a million miles away from either, I think it’s better then both. The vocals are much more definatively Oi! and a tuneful bark then in Reckless Upstarts you can tell off the bat, backed by punchy drumming and simple but catchy riffs. Two references that come to mind instantly for me are mid 2000’s TO band King Sized Braces and California’s Pressure Point, and to a lesser extent the classic Oxymoron. Lyrically it’s the classic skinhead fare, but hey that’s what we listen to this shit for! While it doesn’t tend to be my favourite style of Oi! usually, I’ve really enjoyed this record. Hit up Insurgence records in North America or Contra in Europe for a copy.

- Mike

Toy Tiger – Last Anthems From 333 In The Lo-Fi Street Rock Key

2019 Self Released
Toy Tiger - Last anthems from 333 in the lo-fi street rock key
Toy Tiger - Last anthems from 333 in the lo-fi street rock key

A newer band from Vancouver, BC formed in 2018 or therabouts. Super fun, snotty, and glammy punk rock – a very heavy Slaughter And The Dogs vibe, aswell as nods to junk shop glam and even abit of a Germs/Viletones feel at times. The singer Fin varies from snarky singing to gruff barking depending on the song, and there is a serious amount of guitar riffing going on. All 4 songs are good, for me the highlight is definately the closer “Street Rock n Rollers” – catchy, beefy riffs that are equal parts glam punk and early Templar’s, some infectious guitar leads and definately the most versatile vocals that manage to be both hard sounding but also very tuneful and catchy. I’ve seen them live before and they were alot of fun, looking forward to getting the chance to do so again – and also to when they hit up a proper studio!

- Mike