OI BOYS – « Oi Boys »

OI BOYS – « Oi Boys » (2021)

Les Disques de la Face Cachée, Dans le vide, Maloka, Hidden Bay, Kanal Hysterik, Amour entre chien et loup –

Not so Oi, not so fun…

Imagine yourself, it’s friday night, synonymous as an insipid post-routine conditional liberty, the last sparks of daylight reflects a sky between grey and white designing the thorougness of an antiquated industrial-post-gothic city, completely dazed under your oversized hoodie, you walk by the sluggish city center, just before taking your small backtrack which only the locals knows you pass by this small undergrowth, symbol of a new youth, at your feet some old leftovers fix, beer caps and oozing passed memories, welcome in Metz. | By Nino Futur

Ok maybe I overdid a little bit with this intro but I had to paint a clear and caricatural portrait of the city to define clearly the Oi Boys spirit. Following the cleared tracks of dullness that the local heroe Noir Boy George opened with his 2014 cult album « Metz Noire », Oi Boys carry the torch of the daily bleakness designed under the coldness of an old school low-cost synthetiser. As a cold-wave duo, or even post-punk synth minimal-Gloom Oi (well… why not?) composed by two fellows having cut their teeth on the black metal side of the force (Loth) than rap (Voodoo Clan) even noise.

Oi Boys is above all a question knowing how to spleen with flair, from the slightest sound, down to the slightest folds in the lyrics, everything’s here to make us feel the unique over-wintering chills of disapointement.

As early as the introduction « La liste », all the cards are put in the table, we already know that Oi boys are not here to make us sing arm in arm like in the stadium’s curve contrary to what their name suggests.

Although absolutely not Oi, neither that much funny, we figure in the lyrics rudeness (« Tes mortes idoles », « Mon dernier dieu », « Dernière tournée ») this same feeling of daily imperfection, this same proletarian sensybility that we also find by the side of Saint Etienne’s Zone Infinie or even Litovsk, the candor of the resigned modern punks.

In the right lineage of the Metz’s providential man Noir Boy George, our nihilistically oi duo give us pictures of a grayish vagrancy life. Sharing this same taste for raw mixes and underground cold melodies, while listening to the evident hit « Sur la place » (special big up for all the bonkers who got tatooted up song lyrics for the videoclip) that we seize all the potential of the band to set up some solid sad parties like Trisomie 21 used to do.
This mastery of the effective and non-pretentious synth melody would let us believe in an honest version of Rendez-vous far from Hipsterism.

Between the moisty post punk of « Mon dernier dieu » until « Les réverbères » it’s a real atmosphere of a nebulous fair’s ending mixed to a cold coffee smell that seems to emanate from the album. You can easily see yourself under the spotlights of a village fair admiring the last survivors trying to handle the final embers of a pointless pleasure while « 8200km/h » is blasted in background. Last hurray for the sad clown, « Mourir accompagné de rien » which closes the album in style with its chorus as fair as scruffy.

A clever mix between the pikeyness of Cuir, the Noir Boy George’s urban nihilsm, the false poetry of Zone Infinie and the coldness of Hinin, much french references which shows us that in term of cold sonorities and tears to drop, France holds beautiful arrows in its quiver and consequently Oi Boys manage to be apart of it as this first effort is mastered.

Lot of talking for a review which could be summed up by the clever comment from the internaut « Facteur Omniscient » asking : « Is this the children of Indochine and Brigada Flores Magon ? » End of the game.