The Old-timers – Turn It Off/Turn It Up EPs

The_Old-timers__RingMaster Review

With a sound which just seems to get more essential and invigorating with every proposition, South Africa based hardcore punk band The Old-timers release not one but two new EP’s to stir up ears and thoughts. Featuring four tracks each, Turn It Off and Turn It Up explodes in ears with the now renowned Old-timers sound and faith bred lyrical contemplations looking at today’s issues, but both and especially Turn It Off come entwined in fresh twists and captivating hooks, evidence of the band’s continual growth.

Consisting of Cape Town vocalist Dave Emerson and Port Elizabeth hailing guitarist/bassist Donovan de Necker, who live twelve hours apart, and recently new drummer Phil Harris who also plays in Boise punk band False Idle, The Old-timers have previously made a potent and increasingly attention grabbing impact on the global punk scene with their releases, debut album Soli Deo Gloria in 2012 their first thick temptation though the band had already lured ears and appetites, including those of Thumper Records with the Not Dead! Nor Are We! demo. They have been followed by even stronger encounters earning matching increases of acclaim in the shape of the Spiritus Sanctus and Be Reconciled EPs of last year. Each encounter has pushed the band’s old school inspired hardcore sound fuelling minimalistic but impassioned explosions posing as songs forward, and no surprise that both the new EPs follow suit, providing some of the best tracks to come from the band simultaneously.

The_Old-timers_TurnItOff_RingMaster Review     Turn It Off opens with the sturdy tempting of Untouchables; riffs and rhythms a nagging lure from its first breath as Emerson brawls with words. Little changes as the song broadens with tangy grooves and twisty hooks aligned to gleefully jabbing beats, that niggling quality an inescapable anthemic lure firing up voice and sound around. It is an excellent start to the EP, matched by the volatile energy and accusing nature of Televangelist. It too is ripe with gripping rhythms and delicious hooks, and a slim but open vocal variety which alone captures the imagination.

Featuring the alluring voice of The Lead’s Ninah Llopis, Homeless Friends steps forward to steal best song honours across both releases, her siren like tempering to the roar of Emerson emulated in the melodic and fiery exploits of de Necker on both guitar and the moody bass. With scything strikes from Harris adding to the drama, the song brews a stirring antagonism which never quite explodes but gets under the skin wonderfully, especially when flirting with the extra spice of Llopis. As much as the music has moved on again from the band, lyrical prowess has too, songs seeming more concise and impacting in that aspect with this a prime example.

The encounter closes with the intimidating Crowns which from its opening heavy and imposing resonance of bass, has ears and imagination in the palm of its hands, and though it subsequently breaks into a more expected hardcore like accusation and aggressive stance it carries plenty of unpredictable hooks and twists to offer something newly enticing.

Second EP Turn It Up reveals a street punk energy and tone with its first track Broken Glass, the song a more restrained but no less aggravated and energetic proposal to those upon the The_Old-timers_TurnItUp_RingMaster Reviewcompanion EP. For less than a minute and a half it ignites air and appetite before the drama fuelled Angela boldly leaps in with its almost poppy punk theatre of sound and easily devoured contagion.

No Regrets, which features Sef Idle of again False Idle, follows with its caustic stomp of punk/hardcore belligerent sound and praise to him above, whilst an extended cut of a song which first appeared on the band’s debut album brings the EP to a close. This City is the kind of punk roar The Old-timers are recognised for, and a song which still sparks greed and energy in limbs and thought even after a few years.

Whereas Turn It Off has the wealth of unpredictable adventure and invention in songs, Turn It Up has the diversity of punk flavours. Both complement each other perfectly and again provide plenty which those without the faith the band passionately infuse their music with, can also greedily devour. The Old-timers get better as they grow older and with the band donating every penny of digital and physical sales of both EPs to U-Turn Homeless Ministries in Cape Town, they are a must for all punk fans.

The Turn It Off/Turn It Up EPs are available now through Thumper Punk Records and Veritas Vinyl, as well as most digital stores.

RingMaster 18/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Punk for The Gospel Benefit Compilation

Punk for The Gospel Benefit is a 2 volume compilation consisting of 42 bands who donated songs to help raise money and awareness to support the work of foreign Missionaries and families which includes Dave Emmerson of The Old-timers and Aaron “Liberty” Wells of True Liberty, from within the Christian punk community. It is also one triumphant barrage of high quality punk music brought together by Thumper Punk Records and Caustic Fallout. Eclectic and highly charged, the album hits all the right spots whilst doing good things at the same time, a winning combination.

The first important thing to note, other than the cause of course, is that the release is for everyone who loves punk in any form. Many, like we initially wondered, might think it will be ‘an in your face’ faith shout from beginning to end but though the tracks all come from Christian bands and are predominantly in praise of ‘the higher good’, the release is a stirring charge of energy, great sounds, and good will, which has more than something for everybody, believers or not.

The 42 songs which are split evenly over the two volumes include 19 which are either new or previously unreleased and include the first song released by The Deal in 8 years. The impressive thing about the compilation is that truthfully there is not a moment where quality takes a dive just to make up the numbers, every song in their live, raw, or polished studio form grabbing the fullest and most satisfied attention. Obviously personal tastes dictates some tracks light bigger fires than others and it is individual to each, but even those just sparking appreciation do it with pleasing passion and energy to leave one fully contented. The tracks mentioned further on are our favorites only, with those not mentioned left to surprise and delight when you make your own investigation which you really should.

Volume 1 starts off with the old school punk of South African band The Old-timers and their song This City, a direct and challenging track which sets the tone and cocks the trigger for the release ahead, the hungry and rampant breath lighting the touch paper to quality punk energy and sounds across the board.

The excellent Offspring like Homeland Insecurity from Californian melodic hardcore band Dogwood has the pulse rate firing and soon has its back covered by the great Flatfoot 56 and their excellent Smoke Blower, an explosion of intensity and punk rock complete with anthemic choruses and glorious pipes blazing away in the background.

The album continues in strong and varied style but finds its fullest height at the end with a quartet of songs to ignite every passion. The first of the quartet Hold On from The Altar Billies fuses great strains of rockabilly into its presence whilst The Meteors lined Swing Low, Sweetheart by Alaskan band The Scurvies is simply irresistible psychobilly.

As the album plays one quibble did arise and that was lack of female fronted bands but Mason Summers do remedy that a little with their dual vocal attack from Lydia Danger and Mikey Scars in their sinister and hypnotic song Pedestal.

The best song of the whole compilation ends the first volume, a track as essential as it is infectious. I Wanna Be A Kennedy from The Shiny Darks is stunning, the Texans exploring the ear with incendiary melodic strikes and intrusive beats all borne from a flaming energy and intent.

The second volume it has to be said starts off as the first ended, with songs to leave one breathless, deeply satisfied, and energised through some of the best punk rock around today. Marked For Life from Virginian punks True Liberty fires up all the senses with intense energy and Bad Religion and NOFX like dynamic sounds. The song sets up the album perfectly, again the track listing making sure fires are raging from the off.

The following hardcore veined Retaliate from False Idle and the melodic punk gem Blind Eye from The Way ensure the great start is continued and built upon whilst the rock driven Nancy Don’t Fall Asleep from The Deal is a welcome return from the band.

Again this album is a consistent treat from start to finish and arguably stronger than its sister volume, especially with the inclusion of two songs as magnificent as the top one of the other volume. Haunted House from Grave Robber is brilliant, a Sex Pistols/Misfits/Calabrese feast of terror to dine on forever, horror punk at its very best and equalled in excellence by the Metanoia song Evidente. The track from the Chileans is high octane skilled punk rock brought with craft and unbridled energy, a real find amongst so many on the whole release.

As said there is nothing but great sounds and bands on the album and surely a must check out for all punk lovers. Available either as individual purchases or as a bargain package, Punk for The Gospel Benefit is a release well worthy in cause and sound of your time and attention.

To find out more about the album go to http://thumperpunkrecords.storenvy.com

RingMaster 05/09/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Old-timers: Soli Deo Gloria

South African based punk band The Old-timers list in their influences the likes of GBH, The Subhumans, Headnoise, and Minor Threat, inspirations their music proudly builds upon. As their debut album Soli Deo Gloria shows the trio do not hold back in either sound, energy or passion, their lyrical theme and music created to glorify God whilst have one riot of fun in the process. Released jointly through Thumper Punk Records, Caustic Fallout, and Veritas Vinyl, the album is fourteen unashamed storms of emotion and aggressive energy which leaves one thoughtful, provoked and satisfied.

The Old-timers is a band thanks to modern technology which creates music at distance. Vocalist Dave Emerson and guitarist/bassist Don live in Cape Town and Port Elizabeth respectively and twelve hours apart, whilst drummer Matt Lagusis is based in California. With the mixing of the album being done in Idaho and the mixing in North Carolina, it is a release which has chalked up some cyber miles in its making.

The seeds of the band came when Dave whilst on holiday in the home town of Don, met him through a mutual friend in 2011. Their joint love of punk and the JCHC (Jesus Christ Hardcore) movement helped a strong friendship emerge and the eventual sending over of tunes from Don which Dave leapt upon with love and vocals. The tracks became the Punk’s Not Dead! Nor Are We! demo which led the band to the attention of the previously mentioned labels and the planning of an album. At this point Matt who was playing drums for another Thumper Punk Records band, False Idle, joined the band, and now Soli Deo Gloria, one feels it is time for The Old-timers to take their place on the punk map.

From the first track The Old-Timers Intro one knows they are in for a blast of old school punk rock brought with just the right amount of discord, aggression, and irresistible hooked riffs. From the brief declaration the album soon explodes into the boiled atmosphere of Adonai’s Agape and its ‘ode’ to the Son of God. It is an in your face surge of passion and energy which easily whips up the senses into an agitated pleasure. The melodic hooks of Don are as infectious as the coarse shouts of Dave are hungry in sharing their intent. Vocally there is rare deviation throughout the album to the hardcore delivery shown here but it never did Henry Rollins any harm right?

The first single from the album, This City is another tasty slice of senses ruffling and emotion baiting, its power and rough handling of the ear pleasing and greedily welcomed. As the track plays, thoughts of the likes of UK band Crisis, Angelic Upstarts and Shelter come to mind, the sound a feisty mix of all and dripping Old-timers distinctness.

Songs like Posi Isn’t Enough, the Suicidal Tendencies like eruption On Hope, and the contagious Prescribed Rebellion with its irresistible addictive melodies and shifting muscles, leave one tenderised and smiling in satisfaction but it is with the title track that the band deliver the biggest triumph. Soli Deo Gloria from its opening riffs and bruising rhythms slaps the senses into adoration within moments. The song excites and incites with every note and syllable, the music driving with a wicked grooved mission to infest and the vocals offering their only real moment of variety on the release, the expected shouts stepping aside at times for actual singing and group shouts and it works a treat. One wonders if this would have made a better first single but it will get its day for sure.

Soli Deo Gloria is a great album with for many will have a big but. For many like us who do not share the same beliefs and passions as the band, we welcome their heart and thoughts but just like bands that use other personal passions and themes to fuel their creativity and energy, when it borders or leaps into preaching, the barriers come up. At times the album comes over that way, track after track slamming home the uncomplicated and direct lyrical content within. The passion driving through makes the release powerful admittedly, but the lack of subtlety and repetition becomes a demand and order rather than a guiding message or heartfelt view to leave one with some negativity towards what is one punk album which still is able to fire up any punk heart. The Old-timers join the growing brigade of great bands showing real punk has not had its day.

RingMaster 15/08/2012

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