Fast hardcore/aggressive punk with heart from South Africa returns in a double dose from The Old-Timers, this time they’re releasing a double ep of new songs and an extended version of “This City”, which happens to be one my favorite songs from them.
In many ways, The Old-Timers are a product of the technology age since none of the band members are close to each other. Guitarist and bass player Donovan and singer Dave used to both be located in South Africa but not even close in country and Dave has now returned back to Scotland, and the drums have come from the US with most of the drums on this provided by Phil Harris of False Idle. Mixing and mastering was also handled by Sef Idle at Simpul Studios in Idaho. There’s some irony in there somewhere about hardcore music, which if we’re honest is not the most complex, requiring the most modern technology.
Since there are two ep’s to deal with, we’ll start with Turn it Up. For those unfamiliar with The Old-Timers, “Broken Glass” serves as a good introduction. Driving rhythms, fast guitars and drums and vocals shouted over the top characterize the sound here. Think the pace for some good old-school circle pits and some slower sections for pile-ons and sing-alongs, just good fun music. “Broken Glass actually reminds me of a punk rock love song in some ways, while “Angela” is a bit darker in content as it describes an encounter with a Hitchhiker that was a satanist. On this ep, “No Regret” has to be the highlight and may be my new favorite OT song. I sure some of it is the trade off in vocals between The Old-Timer Dave and Sef Idle (False Idle) as that is one of my favorite things in music. The song itself is about looking back at life and realizing all the things that were missed but how spending time with God is better than any of those. Musically, one can hear some layered guitars that sound more False Idle than OT in origin and combining that with the two vocalists and the shout along chorus really make the song special.
Turn it off continues musically in the same vein as Turn It Up and other OT material, so no real surprises there. One can hears some maturity in their songs and arrangements as they have become a bit more complex. “Untouchables” is a good example as it starts out with some spoken word over the high-speed bass line, but then has some layered guitars and some smaller elements that add some flair to the songs. Likewise, the intro to “Televangelist” sounds quite different from a typical OT song but as it builds, the band does return to more familiar territory, only to return to the opening riff and groove for n section in the middle of the song. While the Old Timers are an openly Christian band in focus and themes and that may not appeal to everyone, the intensity of the vocals and the music really shows the conviction of the members and that combined with the overall speed and style and quality of the songs will have a broad appeal.
The Old-Timers have managed to stay true to their style and sound on these ep’s but also managed to incorporate some new elements that fit in seamlessly and add more texture and depth to their brand of old-school, “animal” hardcore.
As a final note: proceeds from the sales go directly to helping U-Turn Homeless Ministries in Cape Town, South Africa (http://www.homeless.org.za)
Written by John Jackson
“Turn It Up” Tracklist:
1. Broken Glass 01:25
2. Angela 02:11
3. No Regrets (Feat. Sef Idle) 01:53
4. This City 01:56
“Turn It Off” Tracklist:
1. Untouchables 01:52
2. Televangelist 01:44
3. Homeless Friends (Feat. Nina Llopis) 02:38
4. Crowns 01:52
Donovan de Necker – Guitar, bass
Dave Emmerson – Vocals
Phil Harris – Drums
Matt Lagusis – Drums on “No Regrets” and “This City”
“Punk’s Not Dead, Nor Are We!” (2011) [review]
“Soli Deo Gloria (2012)” [review]
“Spiritus Sanctus” EP (2013) [review]
‘For The Love of Hippos’ single (2014)
“Be Reconciled” EP (2014) [review]
Record Label: Thumper Punk Records and Veritas Vinyl, Aug. 2015
Interview With ‘The Old-Timers’ [Feb. 2012]