The Brass: Desperation 7"

Sydney Town Records


With one boot firmly planted in an urban setting of industrial decline and the other kicking through a landscape of desperation and loss, THE BRASS deliver 4 tracks of some of the best oi! to come out of NYC in a long time. Picking up where their Rugged Cross demo left off, this bruising debut EP takes everything you like about the savage growls of early Boston hardcore and combines it with the tough, dark melodies of French bands like CAMERA SILENS. Clay’s unrestrained vocals compliment a brutish soundtrack that is appropriately unhinged, on edge and ready to pull you out of your safe apartment and throw you into the dark streets of New York City.

Our take: If your main complaint about US skinhead bands these days is that they're pretty much just hardcore bands in silly outfits, then the Brass are band for you... because they're an oi! band in the same silly outfits! All joking aside, the Brass to my ears sound like a true American oi! band. I was fairly deep into this kind of stuff in the late 90s and early 00s (aka the dark ages before the retro hardcore revival), and the Brass would fit right in on a mix tape from that period... they'd be equally at home a label like TKO or Headache or on a bill alongside the Beltones, Niblick Henbane, the Bruisers, or the Templars. Even when they pick up the tempo on the last track it still doesn't sound like hardcore really, just true, melodic, gruff-vocal oi! So if you draw a line in the sand between hardcore and traditional oi!... well, the Brass know which side they're on.
Tags: 10s melodic nyc oi!