Crown Court – Heavy Manners (Randale Records)

To say I was excited about getting the new Crown Court album is something of an understatement. Over the course of 4 singles, an ep (‘The English Disease’) and the full length gem ‘Capital Offence’, Crown Court have booted their way to the top of the global Oi scene garnering solid reviews and writes-ups from publications as diverse as The Guardian and Artcore. The Spartan Last Resort-ish cover art sets the tone – no bells and whistles necessary – this is unembellished Oi – straight to the point, with singer Trevor Taylor spitting out his lyrics with a vitriol lacking from the Oi scene for many a year and some nifty little guitar parts throughout. Kicking things off with a piece of classical music, Crown Court invoke the spirit of Alex and his Droogies in ‘A Clockwork Orange‘ before ‘Left For Dead’ kicks in proper. The influence of early 80s Oi bands underpins each if the 12 tracks but at the same time ‘Heavy Manners’ sounds incredibly fresh. There’s no tired nostalgia for these boyos. Lyrically the band take on middle class Skinheads on ‘Rich Boy’ (the stand out track for me), joyriding (on last year’s single release ‘Sect 59’), football rivalries (‘Pavement Duties’ and ‘The Scum’) and (if I’m reading this right) army life on ‘The 33rd’. A superb and worthy follow up to ‘Capital Offence’. Ian Pickens

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