Massachusetts has a rich history of bad decisions, from witch trials to the recent influx of opioid addiction. It's easy to think that kids probably don't have to try too hard to find trouble, but I guess dumbing yourself down with religion or drugs doesn't work for everyone and some kids need a different cult to join. It's this gap where Amherst's Rogue Trooper found their home, running hard in the other direction of their peers but still staunchly staking their claim as Bay Staters; they're the younger brother that'll never live up to the potential you see in them.
Their music flexes an American muscle hard and you can hear the influence from the early Bruisers singles, Uprise comp-tracks, and the more garage-y cuts from the Wretched Ones records, but there's still a bit of that English influence from the Hammer Records catalog and that lends the band a little more melody than the founding fathers of American Oi. Their demo last year was the best new Oi recording I'd heard in quite some time and this 7" blows it away.Our take: Four-song EP from this band out of Massachusetts, and even though there's a song called "American Night" I can't think of a recent band that sounds more like traditional UK oi! music than this band. Largely ignoring the pub rock influence that characterizes bands like Crown Court and Vanity, Rogue Trooper instead have a very traditional street punk sound, particularly on the two tracks on the a-side, which are both mid-paced stompers that seriously could have appeared on No Future Records back in the day. If you like the primitive, tougher oi! bands like Red Alert or 4 Skins I think that you might have found your new favorite band. The two songs on the flip are a little more hardcore-influenced, with "Time to Punch Out" moving into 86 Mentality territory, and while they're a little bit different they are just as good as the two songs on the a-side. A real monster of an EP... four stone-cold rippers that are as good as just about any modern oi! I've come across.