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Oily Boys - Cro Memory Grin LP

Oily Boys - Cro Memory Grin LP

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Couldn’t be bothered with the essay below? Cro Memory Grin rocks, 5 thumbs up!!!

It is impossible to remove this record from the experience of occupying the same turf as this band the last 8 years or so. Seeing this ‘self-isolating’ hardcore band form an alignment with non-hardcore scenes, the polarization of the crowd at real-hardcore shows and audience members displays of affection/ownership/violence to show that the Oily Boys represent ‘their’ Sydney (which they've done an admirable job acknowledging and addressing). Their live shows have been experiences of cathartic triumph or occasionally the opposite, the temperamental nature being a big part of the deep traumatic reality that is in their music.

The act of being a long-haul band has resulted in an actual-fucking-album that encompasses different modes and facets of oily-history. The album flows from their signature Hellhammer meets Midwest Hardcore medium paced stomper, to a series of faster Discharge/Rudimentary Peni numbers, a brief detour into dubby esoteric paranoia, more stompers, more riffs, more craft, more excellence and the final descent into madness on Gtrance. It sits outside meme-ish modern notions of egg vs. chain punk, or delineations of “outsider hardcore” vs. “true to the core” types.

There’s echoes of YDI, Negative Approach (particularly the song Evacuate), Integrity and I am also reminded of post-Y2K bands that had particularly potent takes on a youth-subculture now hitting middle age: Omegas, Urban Blight, Double Negative, Condominium, Soma Coma etc. It’s a record that pushes back at the notion of contemporary hardcore being a purely stylistic exercise, but also avoids irony-poisoned contrarian moves as a substitute for writing actual tunes and saying anything important. It is very, very good. – Nic