Last Years Youth

Subculture zine — Issue 6


The Reflectors

The Reflectors

When and where did The Reflectors form?

The Reflectors are James Carman, Nick Faciane, Johnny Reyes, and Ryan Miranda. The band came to life around 2018 when James and Johnny started playing a handful of songs that James wrote on guitar over the years. Essentially, the 4 of us have been playing together since 2004, but we were mostly known as IMAGES playing as a 3 piece from around 2010-2018. The songwriting in IMAGES was more challenging, as James was drumming and singing, but also writing a handful of songs for the band on guitar. When the idea of The Reflectors started taking shape, the whole process came full circle as we kept our core and chemistry intact with James moving over to guitar and lead vocals and Johnny retaining the drumming duties. We have definitely come a long way and we look forward to where this journey will take us next.

To me, your sound takes on elements from the poppiest of the 77′ punk bands aswell as American power-pop classics like Paul Collin’s Beat and The Nerves. What bands prove to be the biggest influences on the band, and what are some current groups you feel at home being lumped in a group with?(Bad sports come to mind personally)

We definitely grew up listening to a lot of the same music. I feel like this has helped us shape our sound to where it is today. Bands like Buzzcocks and The Nerves are definitely at the top of our list, while also being influenced by the massive catalog of punk and new wave bands from the late ’70s and early ’80s. In regards to current groups that are kindred, bands such as The Speedways and Radio Days are definitive for the new power-pop sound.

What’s the punk scene like in LA, what sort of shows do you tend to play?(also which bands, and if there is a distinct power pop scene)

The scene out here in LA goes in many directions, but we try to pave our own path since we play a bit more poppier tunes than most. Not so much a powerpop scene out here, but bands such as Prima Donna, Mogg, Seven and Six, The Pretty Flowers, Juvenile Wrecks, The Crazy Squeeze, and The Exploding Flowers are definitely bands we’d recommend checking out.

The Reflectors

How did you guys get linked up with Time For Action records from Germany? What do you see as the main differences between power-pop/punk and Mod Revival bands? Do you have a favourite label mate band?

Michael from TFA reached out to us earlier in 2019 to release one of our singles “Teenage Hearts” which then in turn led us to release “First Impression” shortly after. The differences between power-pop and Mod revival artists really just depend on their sound (AND CLOTHES!). The Purple Hearts song “Millions Like Us” sounds very punk although they’re deemed a mod-revival band, so it really just depends if the band is leaning heavy on the 60’s R&B influence or if they have punk/pop influences. Dirt Royal on TFA are the best and would highly recommend their album “Great Expectations”.

What are your top 5 bands these days – both current, and past?

James: Band that will always be #1 for me: Buzzcocks
Currently can’t stop listening to: Manic Street Preachers, Tommy Keene
Always on my playlists: Shoes, 20/20

Have you guys gigged very far afield? Where is on your hitlist? Any interest in playing up in Canada?

As The Reflectors, we haven’t travelled very far and the Covid restrictions haven’t made that any easier for us. When things start to ease up, we’d like to hit all of Europe, Canada, Japan, and honestly everywhere else!

Tell us about your brand new LP, “Faster Action” that’s just come out – what’s it all about ,and where can we get it?

The “Faster Action” LP is really close to us emotionally. We recorded this album during the pandemic, and there were so many other things going on in each of our lives that we were struggling with. To get into the studio to record this album was something that we wanted done, but proved to be trivial with all of the obstacles. We listen back to it now and we are so proud, but you can definitely hear the emotion in our songs and lyrics. Some of these songs were written during the pandemic/quarantine, and we hope the listener can tap along but also dive deep and hear what kind of emotions we endured during that difficult time. The album is out now in Europe on Time For Action, SNAP!!, and Beluga Records. Additionally, we will be releasing the US version on Neon Nile records in the coming months.

Cheers for the interview buddy – any final comments?

Thank you for having us. We hope everyone is continuing to be well and healthy. We are already pushing to record our 3rd LP with all new songs, so please stay tuned as we continue to announce updates on our current releases as well as future releases and shows. Cheers!


B-Squadron - Everything You Hate

B-Squadron has been going strong for a good 6-7 years now – has the line up stayed constant, or have you had some personnel changes?

Trav: There has only been one change and that is with the guitarist. Ryan the original guitarist recorded the “Saturday’s Soldiers” EP and did 4 gigs with us before he left. He went on to form Gazelle, any fans of indie rock should look them up, they are a great band. Yeah, then Kev came in and has been with us ever since. It’s a good lineup, we work well together.

The clues in the name that you’re all big on your football – are you more partial to current bands that have that same passion for their club as you guys do? What are some newer bands that people ought to check out?

The name derives from our hometown club Leicester City FC, and it’s errr, “scallywag element” the baby squad. Both Daz and myself were involved with that, but I’m long retired. It’s not big and it’s not clever ha ha ha. Look, we are as much football fans as anyone else, in fact, you could say more than most as we took it to the extreme, it never leaves you though and I have been known to turn out on parade for certain games. Daz is a proper diehard, he goes home and away, every week without fail and still gets his hands dirty when the opportunity presents itself. I always thought of football as a big part of working-class life and that crosses over into the Oi! scene. You don’t get the aggro as much at gigs these days though. New bands I like are Rise Up from Stoke, they’re young but they have that authentic 80’s sound and are good pals of ours. I think in terms of football you gotta mention Crown Court, not sure you could call ’em a new band but Trev the singer is well connected down at Tottenham. There’s a lot of pretenders in the game as well, bands that like to say they are this or that but in reality have never thrown a punch in their lives, let alone at the football. Lads that are or have been involved in football skullduggery recognize each other anyway, a sort of telepathy I reckon, so the blaggers soon get outed.


What’s your take on Oi! bands with professional music videos, do you think it has a place in the scene?

Some are OK. Some are just cringe-worthy. I like the live footage mixed with stuff related to the track. Not so keen on the over produced “everyone look at me” ones though. If they’re done right they can really get the track across. In this day and age, I suppose they have a place. I wanna make a B Squadron one now ha ha ha.

You’ve recently played the Main Event with Condemned 84 – how was it, was it first gig back since Covid? What’ve you got on the cards gig wise coming up? Where would you most like to play that you haven’t had the chance to yet?

Yeah, we did. It was our first gig back after covid, I was expecting a bit of ring rust but I think we did OK. We aired a couple of the new album tracks and they got a good reception. It was good of Condemned 84 to invite us, they played a blinder with all the old favourites. Ipswich is just a ballache to get to ha ha ha. I remember Leicester playing Ipswich Town at their Portman Road ground years ago and a few of our lads invaded the pitch dressed up as Hare Krishnas, only after the gig did it occur to us we should have donned the same outfit. Coming up we’ve got our very first headline gig at Coalville, which as you can probably guess is a coal mining town in Leicestershire. Some of our good pals have done a top job sorting it all out and ticket sales have gone thru the roof. It will be great to play and amongst and for our own, home is where the heart is after all. Places I’d like to play? That’s a long list ha ha, USA, I’d love to see New York and play there. Canada, Australia, NZ, Indonesia. 

Tell us about your new album that’s due out soon.

Our new album is titled “everything you hate” and will be launched at the above-mentioned gig. Online it will be available direct from our label Rebellion Records. It’s a lot more aggressive than the first album, the songs are “tell it like it is” and pull no punches at all. I fully expect it to upset a lot of folk and probably bring the punk police down on us with full force ha ha. Subjects range from wannabe rebels, city centre violence, the above-mentioned punk police, terrorism and a heartfelt tribute to the volunteers of Lord Kitchener’s 1916 “pals” battalions. It’s the album I always wanted us to make. The first album was rushed in my opinion, it’s too “clean”, this album remedies that. It’s Oi! with a good dose of filthy UK82 punk.  

What are your favourite types of music to listen to that are outside the Oi! spectrum?

You would not believe my record collection, I’ve got a very wide range. Everything from Eric B and Rakeem to Ennio Morricone. Reggae, rock n roll, blues, indie, garage, psychedelia. I can listen to most things and appreciate it if I’m honest. I love Johnny Cash. One thing I cannot stand though is that fucking “up in da club” R&B shite, I hate it. It says absolutely nothing to me. Outside of punk the bands I listen to most would be Stone Roses and Motorhead.

Have you listened to many Canadian Oi! bands? Which ones have made an impression on you?(if any!!)

Canadian bands – I’m gonna hold my hands up and say my only knowledge of Canadian Oi! comes from the compilation “Mayday.” Class Assassins and Knucklehead spring to mind. Was Headstrong a Canadian band? Oh and of course Jenny Woo ha ha. I’ve nothing at all against her, I’m sure she’s a great lass but is it Oi? Really? It’s not for me I’m afraid. 

Cheers Trav – any closing comments?

I’d just like to say thanks for your interest in B-Squadron and wish you all the best with the fanzine. Now, get us a gig in Canada and look out for our new video ha ha ha. Cheers.

DJ Scene – Toronto

With It 60s Soul Party

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

I’m DJ Nico based out of Toronto! Born and raised in the city, of Portuguese heritage, and first-generation/settler in Canada. I started collecting records at 16, frequenting record shows in legion halls and one of a handful of women in attendance. I spin a monthly party at a bar called The Piston which is located on Bloor Street near Ossington. We’re looking forward to our 9 year anniversary in June 2022.

Where did your love of music come from?

From my dad and brother. John (my brother) loved to make mixed tapes from radio shows and had a big cassette collection of the top British bands we were listening to at the time – Smiths, New Order, Depeche Mode. My dad was into the classics from the 50s-60s, so rock and roll and pop music along with traditional Portuguese fado (melancholic folk-blues music). He had a great ear for music, pitch-perfect. I always wanted to learn to play piano but never was trained. I did have a cheap electronic organ that I would pick up notes and chords to my favourite songs.

What got you into collecting?

My dad frequented garage sales most of my life so I’d get a lot of mostly LPs come through the house. I started a part-time job at McDonald’s at 14 so had some money to spend. I’d sneak off downtown to the record shops and start to buy records. Most of it was focused on the artists I loved at the time – Smiths, New Order, The Cure, U2, The Clash. I was buying records early on but CDs were the big thing so I accumulated a lot once I started work at HMV when I turned 19. Soul 45s didn’t come in with a vengeance until I was in my 30s. My gateway drug was buying up soul comps from Ace Records, Rhino, Chess, Atlantic, Charly. I was introduced to so many artists and songs that way. Slowly looking for the 45s I loved.

DJ Nico

What’s the best digging experience you’ve had (or worst/weirdest/etc)?

Going to the WFMU record fair in Brooklyn NY for a few years in a row. I have my favourite vendors and friends who sell. I’ve scored some of my top records there, major wants. One being Break-a-way by Irma Thomas. There are usually bands that play that record fair weekend so it’s an added bonus! Great acts. A close second best experience digging would be my trip to Detroit in February 2019. Scored Dee Dee Sharp’s What kind of lady 45 at People’s Records.

How did you get into DJing? Have you noticed much change in the time you’ve been doing it? When did you start With It?

When I was in university, I was heavy into britpop, the music of that time. I was buying LPs and 45s of my favourite bands. Friends decided to get together at a dodgy cafe to play music for each other. I guess I caught the bug then. I’d occasionally DJ for friend’s events, fundraisers, and a party called Blowup happening here in Toronto that mixed 60s mod soul r&b with britpop/uk indie. It was amazing. So much has changed. Women spinning records and holding their own by running successful parties. Maybe not all in the 60s soul scene which is very small here especially those spinning records. There have been waves of multiple parties spinning 60s soul too, With It being the only one for a while. I started my monthly in June 2012. It took about 2 years to really get some legs. Keeping an open mind by playing a blend of known and rare tracks has helped us survive and shift and change with the crowds that come through.

Any particularly memorable nights?

I’ve had guest DJ friends spin over the years so it’s been great experiencing the crowds and music with each and every one of them. What makes nights memorable is when people come up and tell you how much they appreciate the music and what we do. This past weekend was the first party indoors with dancing since March 2020. One young gentleman came up and told me thank you for the great night and that the music was so good. That made my night. There’s always something memorable at every party. Mostly good, some odd. Always a good vibe.

DJ Nico

Reggae vs Soul – who wins?

I’m going to have to say without hesitation SOUL. I connect to it instantly: the rhythm, sound, emotion, words.

Top 5 tracks (current, all time, however you want to interpret)

It’s Torture – Maxine Brown
Magic Touch – Melba Moore
Soul Time – Shirley Ellis
What Kind Of Lady – Dee Dee Sharp
Before It’s Too Late – Jackie Day

Any last words?

Thanks for inviting me to be interviewed! Zines, blogs, self-publishing, DIY – all super cool forms of communication, community and culture. I came up from the same tradition. You really can get to know a scene and city through these formats. Toronto is a big city but the soul music scene is quite tight. I’m grateful to be a part of its history – shaping what it is and what it can grow towards – especially as a woman collector, promoter, and DJ.


The Reflectors – Faster Action

2021 Time For Action
The Reflectors - Faster Action
The Reflectors - Faster Action

Sophomore LP from this band of Californians – and for me, I think this is their best work to date. Kicking off with their single tune All Made Up, the first new offering is Radio Signals which is a perfect slice of Northern Ireland via Los Angeles, very reminiscent of the slower PROTEX songs like You Don’t Know Me – love it. Shivers And Scars is more upbeat and sounds more in line with Marked Men and Low Culture – decidedly rooted in 70’s punk but with some great melodic leads and use of minors. Faster Action, the title track, is a real anthem, and actually reminds me of the poppier Mod Revival bands like The Circles. Carry On is another soft and sweet tune, and Fade Away keeps up the theme. Dial Tone screams The Undertones and Protex again, a soft spot for me. Messin’ Around has a seriously infectious guitar lead going on, and pound for pound is probably my favourite tune of the lot. The album plays out with 3 more classic power-pop tunes – while there are songs that are a bit samey, none of them feel like filler. These guys sound like a blend of Protex and The Replacements, and I couldn’t recommend this album enough if you’re a power-pop fan.

- Mike

B-Squadron – Everything You Hate

2021 Rebellion
B-Squadron - Everything You Hate
B-Squadron - Everything You Hate

Leicester, England’s finest Oi! band’s second offering of a long-player, and if you’ve followed these guys’ previous stuff at all, it’s exactly what you’d expect: rough and ready, off the floor, no-nonsense Oi! that sounds like it could just as easily be recorded in 1981 and 2021. Musically they have both elements of second-wave Oi! as well as nods to UK82 and the Rejects – short, no-frills songs that make a point and don’t outstay their welcome. Lyrically, singer Trav goes for just about anyone who wants to know, as well as tributes to Leicestershire regiments from (I think) both WW1 and WW2 and naturally the ol’ football violence. If you’re disillusioned with the modern Oi! scene and prefer the classic 80’s British bands, B-Squadron are the current band you need to be listening to. Favourite tracks: Rebels Without A Clue and Do You Know Stanley?

- Mike


2021 Cursed Blessings
Red Alert // Rough Cuts
Red Alert // Rough Cuts

Intergenerational split EP from Sunderland classics Red Alert, and the comparatively fresh faces of Toronto’s Rough Cuts. Red Alert kick things off with All We’ve Ever Known, a nice little tune that sounds halfway between 90’s Red London and Co.Durham heartthrobs Gimp Fist. Too Many Goodbyes keeps up in the same vein, and they finish off with Wounds That Never Heal which is definitely their strongest offering here. It’s a far different sound to We’ve Got The Power, and sounds like they probably rate a lot of 90’s American bands like Rancid and DKM, and while that’s not something I really enjoy it’s still a solid listen. Next up are Rough Cuts, coming in with a title track that is surprisingly a very early 2000s sounding hardcore song – quite the departure. Knockout Saturday is more in line with their previous stuff, with the highlight for me being a catchy chorus riff with lyrics being pretty standard Oi! fare of living for the weekend, rough work week, getting the beers in etc. Finishing off their side is Won’t Back Down, which off the bat I find a lot more engaging than the previous two, with a catchy riff and a good melodic lead over top in the intro. It’s the catchiest tune of the lot for them, lyrics seem to be about fighting adversaries down the backstreets complete with an Oi Oi chant. This release didn’t excite me much, but it’s still a fun one as I love split records – worth tracking down if you’re a collector.

- Mike

Rebels Rule – Rule #1

2021 Randale
Rebels Rule - Rule #1
Rebels Rule - Rule #1

Debut album for the logistically confusing Rebels Rule – this Russian/Canadian band is split between Moscow and Paris. 13 tunes of bubblegum punk-inflicted glam rock here – with Jenny Woo fronting the band on lead vocals. My initial thoughts off the bat, this is by far the most suited band she’s played in to her singing style. She goes for a slightly singier and sweeter singing style that is a really good progression, demonstrated well in the power-pop-laden Don’t Matter None. This album bounces back and forth between glam rock numbers that wouldn’t be out of place on a Giuda album, 70’s inspired punk tunes that musically are in the Boys/Buzzcocks vein, like Not Looking For Love, and power-pop ala The Only Ones meets The Nips like Good Girls Don’t. A fun album, if you enjoy bands like Giuda, Sheer Mag, Cheap Trick or Paul Collin’s Beat I’d recommend checking it out.

- Mike