The Austin Chronicle

Chaotic Live Shots

Cockney Rejects, Warrior Kids

Reviewed by Kevin Curtin, June 8, 2012, Music

Cockney Rejects, Warrior Kids

Emo's East, May 31

The nail-tough crowd of buzz cuts, boots, and Fred Perry shirts that circled violently to the clenched-fist hardcore of Montreal's Omegas, went still for the Warrior Kids, whose Oi! and rocksteady street punk kicks it more arm-in-arm than boot-in-face. The veteran French trio recall Irish contemporaries Stiff Little Fingers elevated with two-tone bass lines and melodic vocals. Asked to translate his lyrical themes, bassist Marc Russo struggled: "Social life, hope, sometimes angry, sometimes nostalgia." What English Russo knows, the band demonstrated through covers of "A Message to You, Rudy" and "Pressure Drop." Purist punk from Austin's the Beltones led the opening night of Chaos in Tejas' only U.S. attraction at Emo's East. Their wordy six-chord songs featured Clash-like guitar interplay and singer Bill McFadden's inimitably salty gargle. The hometown crowd singing along made their songs sound extra classic. "There's a little band called Sham 69 who couldn't be here, fuck if I know why, so we decided to come to Texas," said Cockney Rejects frontman Jeff Turner during the vintage UK quartet's headlining set. Demonstrating the power of shout-along hooks, he turned the mic on the crowd for "We are the Firm," and "Here They Come Again," then led them in shouts of "oi, oi, oi!" with scary conviction. Out front of the circling, surfing, shoving masses, all punching the sky along to his chants, Turner – after 34 years onstage – proved he still incites all-out abandon.

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