Courtesy of a co-release between Aggrobeat and Rebel Sound Music, punk from both sides of the pond links up in a 7” split which just ignites the appetite. On one side stands Welsh oi/punks Foreign Legion and on the other Tulsa Street punks The Shame, both offering two tracks of highly satisfying incitements. There have been a few potent punk splits over recent times and this stands right up there as one of the best.
Emerging from the ashes of Dead On Arrival, Foreign Legion began in 1984 infusing an oi seeding with varied essences of punk rock. The years have come and gone, line-up changed but the band has never slowed down or taken the heat out of their creative and lyrical rage as shown by the new release. Recent years has seen Foreign Legion share stages with the likes of Cockney Rejects, Guitar Gangsters, Control, The Warriors, GBH, The Ruts, and Stiff Little Fingers and play festivals such as Back On The Streets, Punk & Disorderly and Rebellion, whilst over time they have played in 15 different countries and remained the only Welsh band to ever play at the legendary CBGB’s in New York. With four albums under their belt, including the Mick Jones produced What Goes Around Comes Around, as well as a split full-length with Major Accident and numerous other splits and compilation appearances, the band instantly show they are as stirringly confrontational as ever with their first contribution to this new encounter.
Nowhere Left To Hide strides in straight away with commanding rhythms and attention seizing riffs, their mix a potent lure which the grizzly tones of Marcus stand astride. An air of Angelic Upstarts lines the attitude and presence of the track whilst backing vocals are as anthemic as the core hook repetitiously fuelling the infectious challenge. With guitarist Simon and bassist Dave colluding to grip ears and appetite with their creative bait as the rhythmic swings of Sid thumps them, the track stirs up air and emotions with its old school tones and a modern attitude driven on by the lyrical attack on the state of the world, a premise continued in its successor.
Our World Today is even more addictive with its central hook incessant in nagging repetition and inescapable virulence. Around this the guitar flames with sonic enterprise whilst the throaty bass belligerence snarls with antipathy to match the thick accusation of the lyrics, again anthemically and intimidatingly delivered by Marcus. As its predecessor, the track is not trying to stretch boundaries and venture into unique landscapes but for a thrilling and provocative slab of honest punk rock it is prime incitement.
The other side of the release belongs to Tulsa’s The Shame, another band breeding their attacks from old school punk this time with maybe more US heritage though there are undoubtedly some essences of British punk found within their sound. Their potent history has seen the band play with bands such as Queers, Downtown Struts, Noi!se, Bishops Green, The Templars, Fatskins, Concrete, and Those Unknown whilst their discography includes an album and a 7”. With a new EP scheduled for later this year, the band launch their part with Crossing the Line first of all and quickly gets down to being musically and vocally grouchy and thrilling ears straight away.
Riffs and rhythms rise as one and are soon taking the listener on a feisty attitude driven ride. A thick bass lure easily grips the appetite as does the group calls around the chorus, but from start to finish with a whisper of bands like NOFX to it as well as a UK influence of bands like The Business, the song is a rousing stomp led by pungent hooks and beats around the stirring influence of the lead vocals.
Its successor is just as contagiously imposing and bullish, Faded Glory emerging as a thick anthem of nostalgia and rebel rousing inspired by beer and sonic rioting. A little more reserved in energy compared to their first, song and band still raise the passions and spark the defiance in us all with accomplished and galvanic posture.
The four tracks on the release all hit the spot with ease in a reminder that punk on both sides of the big water is still roaring as strongly as ever. ‘
The Foreign Legion/The Shame 7″ Split EP is available now on exclusive US red vinyl version (250 copies) via Rebel Sound Music and European blue vinyl version (250 copies) via Aggrobeat http://rebelsoundmusic.limitedrun.com/products/541545-foreign-legion-the-shame-split-7-ep