Hard Left: We Are Hard Left 12"
Debut LP from this American Oi! band out of the Bay Area. I feel like it's impossible to talk about Hard Left without mentioning Hard Skin; not only do the two bands share half their respective names, but they also seem to share a similar attitude toward the first-generation oi! sound. On the one hand both bands clearly love it, making cheeky references throughout (such as how Hard Left borrow the chant from the Cockney Rejects' "East End," which I'm pretty sure the Rejects themselves borrowed from a terrace chant), but there's also a bit of ironic distance here as well that some people love and some people, I imagine, would react really negatively to. That sense of irony also fits well with Hard Left's conceptualism; they're a street punk / oi! band whose lyrics take a radically leftist political bent. That certainly jibes well with oi!'s traditional association with the working class, but not so well with the streak of conservatism that has been a part of the genre since the very beginning. Musically, this is all big choruses and simple rhythms--the same thing that drew you to bands like the Cockney Rejects and Blitz in the first place--and while some people may find the production here a bit too polished it definitely has an immediate appeal. So, if you're intrigued I'd encourage you to a check out a track or two; if you like your oi! a bit grittier this probably isn't going to be your thing, but if you can get down with the best of modern American oi! (like, say, Bishops Green), then you'll definitely want to check this out.Tags: 10s melodic oi! yoobl