Herbärds Eu! Se Bois LP

It’s a bit alienating for a woman to review an album pronounced “Oi! The Boys,” and it doesn’t help that I can’t decipher the lyrics. Musically, the HERBÄRDS have a sound derivative of British Oi. Most of it is rather unexceptional, but “BMW” and “Schweinbach” are rousing tracks. Listen before buying.

Herbärds Eu! Se Bois LP

Thrashin’ Oi sounds from Germany. These tuneful tunes are delivered competently and powerfully, although there is definitely an amateurish garage quality to the playing, too. Can’t say anything about the lyrics, but I can say they’re definitely into their boots and rolled-up jeans.

Hungry for What …And the War Goes On LP

HUNGRY FOR WHAT’s approach is molded by ’77 punk, but a certain sleekness of production imparts a contemporary feel to their songs. There’s some good music here; still, H.F.W. see-saw between moments of power and a sedate professionalism, with the latter winning out in most cases. A strong, yet unmoving release.

Inferno Tod & Wahnsinn LP

Like VORKRIEGSPHASE, INFERNO rips out intense blasts of thrash enveloped in a wall of guitars, but they lack their compatriots’ tightness. In particular, the out-of-sync drumming often seems to hold back the rest of the band’s momentum. Still, the guitarist wails, and this nasty-sounding record has more than enough ass-kickers to warrant your attention.

Maniacs The White Rose of Resistance LP

These 12 songs from this veteran German band pound out the melodies and harmonies, combining them with a nice raw edge. The vocals carry politically concerned lyrics smoothly and stand aside while several Oi rooted chants step in. Catch and rockin’.

Normahl Verarschung Total LP

Mid-tempo ’77 punk from this German hardcore band. If the guitars were turned up twice as loud and the vocals were more raspy, the NORMAHL might have something going here. This isn’t the case, so the results are less than satisfying. These is an appealing amateurishness evident here, but it’s not enough to overcome the above-mentioned shortcomings.

Normahl Der Adler ist Gelandet LP

Proficiently recorded and executed new material that sounds distinctly German. It’s filled with anti-war themes, ’77-style three-chord riffs, and Oi-type choruses—without an Oi “attitude.” Side one utilizes humor and funny little musical intros and breaks, so it sounds a bit disjointed if you don’t understand German. Side two, while less imaginative, is more rocking. Not bad at all.

Normahl Ein Volk Steht Hinter Uns 12″

Although DIE NORMAHL sometimes plays considerably faster these days (as in “Morganstunde”), they’ve retained their sense of irony, their bouncy punk sound, and their ability to write the occasional slower, catchy tune (like “Liebeskonsum”). Nothing here is extraordinary, but this 12” makes for enjoyable listening.

Normahl Harte Nächte LP

Basic German punk, fast and punchy, with catchy guitar riffing—the same kind of thing NORMAHL has been doing for a while now. Nothing is performed with particular brilliance, though I find this style quite listenable. Good, but unspecial.

The Idiots They Call Us: The Idiots LP

This band opts for longer song structures and a pop style with moments of instrumental invention and even ingenuity. While the majority of this album sustains a melodic approach, there are welcome blasts of thrashy energy from time to time; too bad the compositions tend to fall into an earlier, less accessible German style.

Maniacs / Tin Can Army split LP

A new German release with a different band on each side. The MANIACS have a thrash attack that mixes British and American elements; TIN CAN ARMY has a somewhat raunchier and more intense thrash sound with diverting lead parts inserted at just the proper moments. Both groups utilize political perspectives, and have a couple of slower sing-along numbers. Good.

V/A Ultra Hardcore Power LP

The title is stupid, but the music is definitely worthwhile. This album demonstrates that Germany has several ripe thrash bands, though it’s not quite up to the standard of Waterkant Hits. Here the NORMAHL offer slower, less distinctive songs; the HERBÄRDS do some funny Oi tunes; and INFERNO, CHAOS Z, and BLUTTAT produce some ripping thrash. A good value.

V/A Hardcore Power Music Part 2

A storming German sampler with all your faves and some new faces. Lots of different attacks with creative approaches, it’s a good slap of Deutsch hardcore. With the incredible INFERNO whose track “Ein Tag im Schatten” really shows their intensity, plus some classic tracks from the MANIACS, MOTTEK, TIN CAN ARMY, and RAZZIA. And new entries by the IDIOTS, LUSTFINGER, KSF, AUSBRUCH, and SCHLUCKSPECHTE. Well done musically, but why do these German labels always rip off Wrightson for cover art? Thanx Winni!

V/A We Don’t Need Nuclear Force LP

A pretty good world sampler featuring mostly previously released material that falls under the ranks of punk, hardcore, and post-punk. Some of the talents in the limelight are BOSKOPS, VARUKERS, TOXIC REASONS, RATTUS, WHITE FLAG, BRISTLES, and many others. Comes with a free six-song EP.