ALBUM REVIEW: Various Artists – Oi! This Is Streetpunk 2020 (Pirates Press Records)

Lots of small, independently-run labels champion the working class music which is grouped together under the label streetpunk, but few do it as well as Pirates Press Records.

As well as new music and classic re-releases, one of their trademarks is their streetpunk compilations – this is the sixth in the series, and the first since 2015.

It features 20 of the best bands Oi! and streetpunk has to offer, on two 10in records, with a free 20in x 20in poster. Like most of its predecessors, it contains a good mix of established bands and newcomers.

With PPR being an American label, more than half those featured are from the US, but the worldwide nature of the movement is shown by the presence of others from France, the Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Brazil, Canada, Australia and the UK.

The album is opened by one of the more well-known bands, Antagonizers ATL, from Atlanta, Georgia, whose song A Way Of Life sums up the way many feel about the streetpunk scene.

Other familiar names include Bonecrusher (from California), The Welch Boys (from Boston) and Lion’s Law (from Paris), who are one of the biggest names in the Oi! world right now.

There’s a lot of new bands too, with my favourites including The Young Ones, from the Netherlands, whose high-octane March Of The Gutter Kids reminds me of early Cockney Rejects, and The Prowlers, from Quebec in Canada, who sing in French!

Doug & The Slugz were the first oi! band in LA, and were originally active from 1983-84. They have reconvened in recent years, and the old-school sound of their track Promised Us A Future should appeal to fans of The Business, 4 Skins, The Last Resort etc.

Not a lot of Oi! bands feature women, but here we have three; Rebels Rule, a Russian group fronted by Canadian singer Jenny Woo; The Opposition, from Melbourne, Australia, who have two female members (ex-Razorcut); and Falcata, from Portugal.

Bringing up the rear are the UK’s sole representatives, the excellent Knock Off, whose track You Won’t Change Us, is one of the best here. It rounds off a fine compilation nicely, showing that there’s plenty of life in a scene that many people probably don’t realise exists. 8/10.

Knock Off are featured on Oi! This Is Streetpunk 2020. Pic: Gary Welford.

Oi! This Is Streetpunk 2020 track listing:

  1. Antagonizers ATL – A Way Of Life
  2. Concrete Elite – Unbreakable Breed
  3. Lion’s Law – Un Jour
  4. The Welch Boys – Methadone Mile
  5. Bonecrusher – Desperation
  6. Hard Evidence – A Natural Unnatural
  7. Armada – The Rebel Sound
  8. The New York Hounds – I Don’t Like You Anymore
  9. 45 Adapters – Friendship
  10. Rebels Rule – Just A Memory
  11. The Young Ones – March Of The Gutter Kids
  12. The Opposition – Back Stabber
  13. Faction S – Tous Complices
  14. Brassknuckle Boys – Maryland Avenue
  15. The Take – Freedom Of Choice
  16. Fuerza Bruta – Tarantula
  17. Doug & The Slugz – Promised Us A Future
  18. The Prowlers – La Flamme Brûle Encore
  19. Falcata – Viriathus
  20. Knock Off – You Won’t Change Us
  • Oi! This Is Streetpunk 2020 is available from Pirates Press Records HERE.
Gary Welford owner