Monday July 24th 2017

The Abductors / Destroi / Mooseknuckle / Working Poor USA


The Abductors / Destroi / Mooseknuckle / Working Poor USA
Midway Cafe, Jamaica Plain, MA         6/25/17


Oh, Boy! Oh, Joy! This is a Oi! Oi! Oi! show- kinda like how the little piggy went Wee! Wee! Wee!- all the way home.

I’ve been looking forward to this show for awhile. Not too many pure Oi shows happen in a year and with its close ties to the original punk scene, you can see why I’m a fan. (Though Riot Grrl is even more authentically punk to me.)

But- Anchors, Away! Oi, Matey!

I’m off to sail to the Midway for another Sunday matinee.

Working Poor USA, a band from Cape Cod, is up first today. I’m familiar with the lead singer, Tony, who barks and growls out the lead vocals, maybe more in a hardcore than Oi way. His voice reminds me of Shawn from the extinct hardcore band, Refuse Resist. And to be compared to him, as I believe he should, is a high compliment, as Shawn has one of the best local hardcore voices I’ve heard.

When TNB started, Tony’s hardcore band was called Antibodies. And just as we thought of Refuse Resist as Boston’s best hardcore band, we thought of Antibodies as the equivalent on “The Cape.”

I’ve seen his new band several times now and today is by far, the best. He tells me, it’s all new members today. They’re definitely playing in the Oi style with Tony’s hard, strong vocals on top that is now matched with an excellent rhythm section and some great guitar. Also, some great material like “Freedom” and “Middle Ground.”

They turn in a great opening set and I’m amused, when after the set, I notice the back of the drummer’s t-shirt says, “Welcome to Baltimore, Duck Motherfucker!”

Mooseknuckle refer to themselves as street punk/Oi but are such a wild, anarchic band- that doesn’t give a fuck- in a good way, that they manage to end up with a style that is unlike any other band I cover.

A typical song by them has an eighth note bass line, but more varied than the typical Ramones like line, with the drums pushing everything enthusiastically along- just short of hardcore. The guitarist is bashing away like a banshee and P.J., the singer, screams out shot gun exploding lyrics like the top of his head is about to explode.

Their set is punk, their set is Oi, their set is hardcore.

Their set is wild and fun and I love it.

Last time I saw DestrOi was at the Cantab, Club Bohemia and Nate, the singer, did not have his mohawk up. This time it is Dave, the drummer, whose mohawk is down.

Me, I’m sporting a black and white polka-dot mohawk today, but truth be told- it’s is very, very short and is mostly gray.

But hairstyles aside, as most of you know, DestrOi is one of my favorite bands. They hail from Salem and play Oi music with a hardcore energy and urgency.

It’s pure emotion, propulsive rhythm and intense rock’n’roll excitement here. A perfect match to play with Mooseknuckle as both bands combine influences of Oi, punk, hardcore, crust and grind and end up with a style that is unique onto themselves.

A hard-hitting, explosive set is what I’ve come to expect from DestrOi and today, is no exception.

The Abductors are about to take us out. They remind me a bit of local Oi band, Barfight Champs, as- like that band, they have a short, bald dynamo of a singer -named Sam, in this band and Frankie Chairs in Barfight Champs.

They refer to themselves, simply as a punk band but there’s some hardcore influence as well. But to have them headlining an Oi show seems like a “no brainer” to me.

They come from Connecticut, a place where a lot of awesome bands come from, and after all the previous, great music before them, they hold themselves up quite nicely.

So much so, that the music review this week is of one of their last recorded projects and it is truly, great.

Much like the set they play today. Full of rock’n’roll beats, echo-ing backup vocals and growling, hardcore main vocals. I hope they make the trek back here again, soon.

As I leave the club, I see a car speeding down Washington Street, the main street outside the Midway. I notice P.J., the singer from Mooseknuckle, hanging half his body and all of his head out a side window and howling. I turn the corner and see The Abductors, next to their van, having a few before their long drive back, and some of the members are hurling pizza at each other while another member castigates (scolds) them.

I’m headed home, I’m feeling pretty good.

I may not be howling at the moon or hurling pizza.

But inside I am.


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