Still fighting the good fight after over forty years, Oi Polloi have always been consistent in their politics and commitment to the anarcho/streepunk scenes. I’ve lost count of their albums over the years but this has got to be somewhere around their 13th by my reckoning, and in my humble opinion it’s one of their best. Opening track ‘Donald Trump – Fuck You’ is a reworking of ‘John Major- Fuck You’ off their 1993 ‘Guilty’ ep – musically it’s an absolute banger; but while it’s cathartic to sing lyrics that express this sentiment, lyrics like this seem almost irrelevant after the departure of the target.
That said ‘UK 2017’ is a sad reflection that not only has very little changed for the working class in recent years, there’s little doubt that things are getting worse and Oi Polloi are not going to let that go without comment. It’s a speedy rager that bristles with anger and vitriol – a style the band stick with for the next few tracks in which they attack antisemitism and the propensity for the working class to often blame the wrong target for their woes (immigrants, the homeless, etc.) instead of the class system itself.
The band change musically tract on ‘Crust Party’ and ‘Down The Pub’ in which the band return to their Oi roots. Despite the Rejects/Cocksparrer style tunage the band still crowbar in some politicised lyrics. An affectionate parody of the Pistol’s ‘The Great Rock n Roll Swindle’ riff sets the stage for ’Gimmie The Cash’ which questions the concept of a cashless society. ‘Skinhead 2019’ closes proceedings with a return to the style of the opening tracks and issuing a clarion call to Skins to remember their roots. A fitting way to end the album methinks. Ian Pickens