This is Oi!
20 years on, these NJ OI legends deliver an amazing record full of beer, spit, heart and fury. Now, I say ‘legends’; but these dudes never got the full recognition which they fully deserved. BROKEN HEROES began in 1991. They had a few 7”s on NJ label HEADACHE RECORDS. They appeared on some compilations (incl GMM). They had big shows. These factors would seem to have perched them on the verge of ‘success’ (a relative term in the Oi! world). But, by 1994, they slowed down and broke up.
In 2004, I remember perusing the bins of a Newbury Comics in Warwick RI with my ex. I saw a new BROKEN HEROES cd. We ended up getting burritos afterwards. Unwrapping the “I Told You Once” CD in a park, we sat and ate our lunch. I was astonished that they released a full length. I thought Oi! was dead in the early 2Ks. And I hadn’t heard of BROKEN HEROES doing anything in a long time. I didn’t realize that they even existed at the time. When I got in the car I slid that puppy in the player. The songwriting was there, but I just couldn’t get into the disc. It was sloppy and just a shoddy recording. Oh well…
So now in 2012, after seeing their names on some bills, and highly respecting them for trucking up to Boston a month ago to play an afternoon show, I knew that they were resurfacing. But inever anticipated an album. And, admittedly, I was approaching this new album with trepidation.
“Remember when ‘street punk’ was NOT the word to use?” is the enigmatic phrase used to start this album. Well for you just coming of age in the 2K’s, I can see where you would be confused. But OI! was the term long ago. And I don’t get all riled at the ‘street punk’ term; I think it fit certain bands quite well. And I love the sound. It, however, did serve as an umbrella term that end up including many generic bland bands *(and got bastardized and co-opted much like SKA did in the prior decade). But there was a time when there was “Oi!”. And it was played by skinheads. Plain and simple. Well, BROKEN HEROES are bringing it back. Or not. But they are doing what fits them. So, this album and the first track are titled, This is Oi,! for that reason. And this 1st track comes off like one of their forefather’s, THE BUSINESS, classic tracks.
The word ‘skinhead’ is placed in almost every song with no apologies. God, it is refreshing to hear again.
BROKEN HEROES find a way to concoct the mesmerizing alchemy of rock and roll US Oi and English Oi. The PC friendly kindergarten lullaby, “Shoulda Been (an abortion)” is a fast drinking song dedicated to morons that plague our society. The play this hard and fast; shouting lines like “The world has enough idiots/ we never needed more / your mother should have closed her legs/ that stupid filthy whore”. All warm and cuddly. “Oi! Don’t Pay the Bills” has a great COCKNEY REJECTS and ANTI HEROS (Mark McGee…) feel. “Piece by Piece” with a nod to the ANTI HEROS’ sound“From You” embraces that NJ OI NIBLICK HENBANE sound completely and fires on all cylinders. And they even say “Suss”. A polished “Skinhead Not A Politician” gets proper treatment and packs a punch. *(will today’s youth know Sally Jesse?)
Every song is a bruiser. Well written; strong beat with a catchy chant for the drunken crowds. And they finally have the solid production that today’s technology and someone who cares about the music can offer.
So if you miss THE BUSINESS, 4 SKINS, COMBAT 84, COCKNEY REJECTS, THE LAST RESORT, THE TEMPLARS, ANTI HEROS, NIBLICK HENBANE, FORCED REALITY… if you miss the 80’s and early 90’s…. if you miss straight Oi!.... please welcome back the BROKEN HEROES.
TOP TRACKS: Piece By Piece, Can’t Understand Normal Thinking, Blind Retribution, From You, This is Oi!, 100% Class…ah they are all superb. Raise a glass!!
LINE-UP: “Pete and Tim got together and realized that the band had lost its way. That we had gotten so far from what we started out to do that it was no longer Broken Heroes. We decided to try it again with new members. We got Andy from Niblick Henbane fame on Bass, Scotty Violence from Armed Suspects on vocals and Suedehead Steve on drums and started writing.” Skinflint Music Press Release.