Taking the spirit of DIY punk to further extremes, The Old-timers are not restrained by mere geographical challenges. Don De Necker and Dave Emmerson are both in South Africa, but live on opposite sides of the country. Whilst their drummer, Matt Lagusis from False Idle, is on another continent altogether! Dave and Don put the vocals and music together, and then forward it over to America for Matt to add the drums. Then it was sent back to South Africa for mixing and mastering. This is their first full-length release. The excellent artwork was contributed by Dave Besanson Originals.
Dave is originally from Scotland and moved to South Africa to work as a full time missionary near Cape Town. Dave has previously played in Dragged Out with former members of The Exploited & Voice Of The Mysterons. Don is from South African and works as a youth pastor for his church in Port Elizabeth as well as running his own pie company. He has played in makeshift garage punk bands and ran a fanzine promoting the Anarcho-punk scene in Port Elizabeth in the early 90’s. Their influences include GBH, Hit The Deck, Minor Threat, The Subhumans and Headnoise.
Regarding the band name, they stated “It started out as a joke – poking fun at scene kids who are eighteen years old and think they know everything about music. Far too often at shows we’ve been told we are getting to old to be involved in the scene. So we just wanted to make fun of that. But as time went on we realised that it had a deeper meaning for us – we desire to point people to God almighty, the greatest Old-timer that ever lived, the ancient of days, and to encourage people to return to first principles.”
There has been a growing trend of doing old hymns and worship songs within punk and they start off with their own clanging guitar anthem “Holy, Holy, Holy! Worshipping The Ancient of Days”. Then it’s the short, sharp shock of
‘Adonai’s Agape’ (The Lord’s Love ~ based on Ephesians 1: v 3 to 8) with frenetic drumming, charging guitar and shouted vocals.
In the spirit of old-school punk, there is no messing about here. The lyrics hit squarely between the eyes and, like a hellfire and brimstone preacher, there is no chance of mistaking their message. Take ‘On Hope’ with its head-charge “ There’s no hope, not a glimmer of hope, outside of Jesus Christ / There’s no hope, not a fragment of hope, without the cross of Christ”
It’s not just internal change that they want as they also fire off salvos at the state of the world around them in ‘This City’ and ‘This State’. Contrast this to the joyous celebration of crcle-pits in ‘Run In A Circle’.
In a surprise move, the album ends with a prayer. But don’t expect this to be a quiet, sombre affair as it contains the same frenetic drumming, ramped-up guitars and full-throated shouting as found throughout the album.
All proceeds from the sale of SOLIO DEO GLORIA! will be donated to support the Missionary work by Dave and his family at Siloam Christian Ministries (http://www.siloam.org.uk/089.htm), which provides medical aid, education and social help.
Reviewed by Peter John Willoughby
01. Intro / The Old-Timers Anthem
02. Adonai’s Agape
03. This City
04. Posi Isn’t Enough
05. On Hope
06. This State
07. The Language Barrier
08. Soli Deo Gloria
09. Prescribed Rebellion
10. Annals Of Klepsis
11. Run In A Circle
12. Turnbull ACs
13. This Decay
14. Family (A Prayer)
Donovan “The Don” De-Necker – gtr & bass
Dave “Emo” Emmerson – vox
Matt “The Machine” Lagusis – drums
Record Label: Thumper Punk Records, 2012