Let’s face it, the American Oi Scene has been pretty shitty for a long time. US bands were, once upon a time, the best in the genre, but that sound has been lost over the years. Gone are the days of bands like Stars and Stripes and the Bruisers. Hell, the Templars aren’t even really playing Oi anymore. It seems like there hasn’t been a really good Oi LP to come from this side of the Atlantic in a really long time, and that’s pretty disappointing. Sure, there have been a few scattered 7”s that stand out (Outsiders-Don’t Tread On Me definitely comes to mind as a really great record even 5 or 6 years after it’s release), and tons of bands that were great live but never even had substantial documentation (American Outlaws), but nothing has been followed through by a full length that had much replay value. Try comparing the US of Oi! or Oi! American Style compilations to last years American Skinheads: Armed With the Truth compilation and you’ll have a pretty good picture of how far the genre has fallen in the past 20 years. Most US bands that are any good are either going for more of a hardcore sound or an older British feel. Sometimes it works out really well, but it’s just not the same.
Fear City is the first true American Oi band to come out in a while that I feel gives a good, accurate depiction of the scene, and holds true to the real old school American Oi sound. Listening to this CD is like listening to Stars and Stripes or Best Defense, it’s raw and angry without all the bullshit tough guy posturing. They’re anti racist, but patriotic, and they aren’t afraid you tell you so. There’s no mask of PC bullshit, but they sure as hell aren’t walking any fences here. This record is made by young, angry, working class guys from Southside Chicago who are doing this for no reason other than to give themselves, and their scene, a voice. That’s what this music is all about. They write good, honest songs and Nail Wall dropped a good chunk of change making sure the production came out clean and complimented the sound. Hopefully reviving the glory days of US Oi won’t be the job of just one band. Of course, a lot of the problem is that the genre is sort of inherently regional, so we're just not hearing some of them. That's a whole different story. Maybe Nail Wall will step up to the plate in that respect?