Every once in a while a band comes along that redefines the style and sound of a genre; Conservative Military Image are one of those bands. Taking their cue from the Victory bands of the 90s and infusing it with the pitbull mentality of American Oi with a passing nod to the UK Oi/Casual scenes of the 80s/90s and a penchant for good old fashioned Rock N Roll (think AC/DC/Rose Tattoo) on Shirt Tucked Aggression, CMI have produced one of the most important albums to hit the Hardcore/Oi scenes in many a year.
The name and the aesthetics may be a little ambiguous for some but CMI ain’t about making you feel fluffy and good about the world This is brutal music for brutal times, reflected in the direct physicality and lyrics of songs such as Burberry Hat (“I’m not gonna fight it. I’m not gonna hide it. I don’t care if you like it”) and Conduct Unbecoming. There’s shades of UK counterparts Crown Court on Tragedy of the Commons, with both bands sharing an uncompromising attitude as well as their own unique take on Oi and the love of a chunky riff, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end. CMI stand on their own two feet, destined to be one of the bands people name when they talk about the Hardcore/Oi scene of the 2020’s. Essential. Ian Pickens