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

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The Old-timers – Be Reconciled

THe Old Timers cover

Hailing from South Africa, punk band The Old-timers has forged themselves a quite potent spotlight not only in Christian punk but the punk underground as a whole with their releases. Now the trio return with their finest moment yet, the Be Reconciled EP. With a broader sound and inventive nature, the release catches the imagination with infectious slices of raw and organic punk rock and a premise which asks questions of thoughts. The band’s fourth release, the EP is simply another open step forward in the presence and sound of The Old-timers.

The band was formed in 2011 by Cape Town vocalist Dave Emerson and Port Elizabeth guitarist/bassist Donovan de Necker, its seeds first sown when they met whilst the latter visited the home town of the former whilst on holiday. From the pair’s unplanned meeting they found plenty to connect over, punk rock being one big love for both. Writing and sharing songs over the vast distances between them through technology, the band emerged with a demo Punk’s Not Dead! Nor Are We!, which brought them to the attention of Christian Punk label Thumper Punk Records. Soon after its release the duo recruited Californian drummer Matt Lagusis whilst Thumper Records released the band’s following impressive releases, the 2012 album Soli Deo Gloria and the Spiritus Sanctus at the end of last year. Both releases showed the continuing growth in sound and songwriting, an evolution pushed again by Be Reconciled.

The new EP is a concept release, its premise following the story of a life finding the light from a dark destructive place, “from sinner to repentance to reconciliation through Jesus.” That journey can be translated into a search we all embrace at some point in our lives within or outside of religion, and in its infusing of keys, a capella harmonies, and spoken poetry within old school fuelled punk rampages, Be Reconciled is a masterfully riveting encounter which works on ears and emotions. It starts with Hole in My Heart, a track which instantly lights ears with its rising persistence of riffs and stomping rhythms. The song, as the vocals, roars with a rapacious intensity and air as the guitar of de Necker expels caustic riffs and enticing hooks whilst his bass prowls the song with a devilish intent. It is an outstanding start to the release, the song’s NOFX like raucousness and Exploited like intensity bound in grooves and hooks which simply infests the imagination, whilst the inventive pounding from Lagusis and vocal demand of Emerson round off the potent lure of the song.

The spoken poetry of Blessings Out of Buffetings is next, voice and haunting keys the protagonist accompanied by percussive taunting. It is a track which alone you would say is for those of faith but within the narrative of the EP and linking the opener and the following Hope for the Rejected, it works well in the context of the story and unimposingly. The third track flies at ears with a raw scrub of riffs and bass driven by rabid beats. With group vocals which works a treat the track at times reminds of early Shelter, its grazing breath veined by a contagious groove which simply entices the appetite further and without reserve. Another highlight of the release, the track provokes, incites, and thrills in equal urgency and strength.

The bruising sounds of Father God I Wonder excites and challenges senses next, the track recruiting the incendiary essences which grabbed attention within previous releases and loading them with a richer infectious bait and instinctive ferocity. It is one minute of prime punk rock which thrusts its sound and narrative irresistibly through ears into thoughts and emotions. Its triumph is matched by the riveting The Joy of Reconciliation. The song starts with that a capella offering mentioned before, a striking union of the band’s voices which works so well you almost throw a sigh of disappointment when the song erupts into its punk rapacity. It soon has those thoughts forgotten though as it squalls and stomps aggressively across the senses for another hunger feeding slab of punk passion.

The closing Ambassadors as the second track is a spoken word within a keys embrace, a conclusion to the narrative which also like the earlier song links in well when taken as part of the journey but for those without a feeling for the religious side of things you sense it may not get the chance too often to make its suasion in being the final track. It has to be reinforced though that as all their releases, The Old-timers presents an encounter which is for all punk fans, just this time it is the band at its most adventurous and dynamic sounding to date which is reason enough to spend plenty of time with Be Reconciled.

The Be Reconciled EP is available now through Thumper Punk Records and Veritas Vinyl as well as @ http://theold-timers.bandcamp.com/album/be-reconciled

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8.5/10

RingMaster 24/07/2014

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The Old-timers – Spiritus Sanctus

The_Old-timers_Band_Photo

    Following up their impressive and enjoyable debut 2012 album Soli Deo Gloria, South African punks The Old-timers release new EP Spiritus Sanctus, a proposition which continues where the last left off with another clutch of inventive and passionate hardcore punk encounters. As their previous release the trio fill most of the tracks on the EP with praise to God and his son, challenging wrongs and thoughts with their narratives. Lyrically there is no subtlety and reserve in the presentation as previously shown on the album but equally there is the same wealth of tasty punk endeavour to satisfy those not so interested in the lyrical contemplations, making the EP an adventurous slab of prime punk for all to enjoy.

     Consisting of Cape Town vocalist Dave Emerson, Port Elizabeth guitarist/bassist Donovan de Necker, and Californian drummer Matt Lagusis, The Old-timers seeds begin in 2011 with the meeting of Dave whilst on holiday with Don in his home town. Strong friendship led to a creative union of the two with technology providing the link over the vast distances between them and subsequently Matt (False Idle) who joined the band after the release of their first demo. That release, Punk’s Not Dead! Nor Are We! brought the band to the attention of Christian Punk label Thumper Punk Records who released the well-received full-length Soli Deo Gloria and now unleash the band’s new encounter in tandem with Veritas Vinyl.

    Opener Mammon relatively gently scraps with the ears through an opening stroking of riffs and spoken vocals, both setting up The_Old-timers_-_Spiritus_Sanctus_coverattention and appetite for the passionate rabidity to come. As the track provokes and rallies up thoughts with its intensive yet controlled assault there feels a greater intensity and voraciousness to the sound and delivery. It is not a metallic rapaciousness which hits the imagination and senses but certainly the suggested more thrash bred hardcore feel to this and other songs, as suggested to us previously by Don, makes itself pleasingly known.

    From the more than very decent start On My Knees Again deepens the tone of the sounds with a heavier darker  snarl to bass and guitar whilst the drums and vocals score the senses in fine if unsurprising style. The track still builds bait and a potent coaxing across its angry stretch which only feeds the hunger for good punk rock with its enterprise and satisfying craft. Its strong place though is soon put in the shade by the excellent and fun Goonies Never Say Die!, a riotous slab of anthemic punk with restrained but infectious hooks and potent rhythmic temptation all irresistibly luring the passions within a canvas which is less than a minute long. From its deep appeal things continue with equal success through Joe #1, a song which has essences of Shelter and the Subhumans to its stirring and evocative charge. Again hooks entrench themselves irresistibly in the imagination whilst riffs and rhythms crowd the ears with excitable and rampant enterprise as a good variation of vocals suggests the lyrical intent of the song. It is an excellent and energetically captivating encounter taking best song honours on Spiritus Sanctus.

     Love Alone Is Strength returns to a face to face eyeballing hardcore attack, vocals scowling out every note as riffs and drums barrack the ears. It maybe would be an over ripe provocation even in its again very enjoyable short presence, a minute once more barely pushed, but veined by a teasing acidic treat of a hook and that ever eager voracious energy the band craft another highlight of the EP. It’s potency is matched and surpassed by Carpe Vitae Part II, a storming blaze of old school punk  with a taste of seventies bands Crisis and Crass to it as well as that repeating flavour of Shelter though to a lesser extent than before. Both songs show an invention and evolution in the sound and songwriting which is certainly subtler in other songs but makes a promising turn in the growing of the band.

  The closing Axios provides a final feisty gallop of hardcore punk with its healthy arsenal of contagious hooks and irresistible energy for a song very easy to devour and with relish. The song is raw and accessible providing something for all punk needs as does Spiritus Sanctus as a whole. The release pushes on from the band’s excellent album, not in big strides but definitely with distinctive confident steps which makes The Old-timers a meeting all punk fans should eagerly consider.

https://www.facebook.com/theoldtimers

http://theold-timers.bandcamp.com/releases

8/10

RingMaster 19/02/2014

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Hippos of Doom – Road Trip

Hippos of Doom photo

    Road Trip is an EP which brawls with the ear but has more fun and mischief in mind than antagonism as it offloads its more than satisfying punk rock passion. Working with the same seeds found in the likes of NOFX, Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies, and Millencolin, Ventura County hailing Hippos of Doom is a band which arguably does not stand apart from other similarly fuelled punk bands but has a charm and character to their sound which does make them noticeable. The EP is not without flaws and moments where maybe the band should not have gone but you cannot dismiss or dislike their energy and appetite, or not find a pleasure in their vibrant release.

Released via Veritas Vinyl and Thumper Punk Records, Road Trip first lights up the ear with Old School Rocking Crew, a track which does what it says on the tin, riffs and group shouts rifling the senses whilst the bass dances around with magnetic craft and boisterous enterprise as it skirts the lead vocals which themselves offer a raw yet honest inducement to join in and rally up limbs and energy. Though it does not leave anything truly memorable once departing from its barely glimpsing two minute length, the song is an accomplished and promising slice of punk rock with pop punk whispers to its presence.

The following Wool Brigade riles up the air with sonic abrasiveness before uncaging another rush of hungry rhythms and exhausting riffs. Once more the bass impresses and the vocals add a caustic rub to the encounter whilst the guitars vein its narrative with melodic acidity. Though like its predecessor there is nothing which lingers long after such the quality and appeal of bass and drums with the guitars in close quarter, it makes satisfying company.

Holiday Road is a cover song which stampedes across the ear with enthusiasm and unbridled devilment, easily recruiting full involvement from the listener though the vocal harmonies is one thing the band might have worked on or alternatively really taken to town for comic effect. Despite there less than successful presence the track is a feisty and riotous slab of fun and opens up the devilry in the band which was only suggested within the earlier songs.

The best moments of the release come with the final two songs, firstly from Judge Not, a track which rumbles on more impressive rhythms and bass courting of the ear whilst the melodic flames leave a hunger with their heated colour and unbridled appetite to rile and ignite the passions. Like all good punk songs, it is simple yet smartly crafted with hooks and rhythmic temptation alongside quarrelsome but inviting vocals, though here there is also that riveting bass call setting the song apart from most others.

The closing The Royal Philharmonic Goes to the Bathroom moves from an opening stomp into another squalling explosion of rapacious energy driven by riffs and drums. With vocals, solo and group, at their best and a jagged guitar persuasion breaking out at times, the track makes claims for best on the release though has to play second best to its predecessor. Both songs make a strong end to the EP and ensure the band is on the horizon of ones to watch.

For good solid punk rock with energy to its fun and intent, Road Trip makes a satisfying option which maybe does not come with blazes of originality but stokes up plenty of satisfaction with its company.

https://www.facebook.com/hipposofdoom

7/10

RingMaster 07/06/2013

 

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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

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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