OHL Oktoberrevolution 12″

Having lambasted Nazis and neo-fascists on their first two albums, OHL now turn their venom against the Soviet Union. I have no objection whatsoever to anyone attacking documented Soviet repression, but they’ve adopted an extreme right-wing approach worthy of Bavarian minister Strauss by including a sleeve cartoon suggesting that independent peace demonstrators are under Russian control. The remixed punk and thrash songs here sound great, but such ignorance doesn’t deserve support.

The Skeptix / OHL The Kids Are United EP

England’s SKEPTIX and one of Germany’s premier thrashers share this four-track EP. While SKEPTIX’s “Got No Choice” boasts a scorching delivery and good, trebly production, OHL’s “Spionage” ranks as the best song on the record, with its catchy guitar progressions and clever stop-and-go arrangements. The mid-to-fast-tempo hardcore on this release earns a strong recommendation.

OHL Verbrannte Erde LP

Put this band right up there in the European thrash-king sweepstakes. With this entry, Germany finds itself well represented. Awesomely powerful music that puts their earlier stuff to shame. Also, any doubts about O.H.L’s alleged “fascist” politics are again disclaimed here—one of the band members has the Jewish star of David on his leather jacket. Good news.

OHL 1000 Kreuze LP

The second LP from German punk veterans OHL is much hotter than their uneven debut. The production is crisper, the group has become a lot tighter, and the songs are much more memorable. Though not really a thrash band, OHL do produce some speedy slabs of guitar-heavy power that’ll strain your speakers at high volume (like “Schrei, Schrei” and “Warschauer Pakt”). I’ve heard rumors that these guys have right-wing proclivities, but they should lay the rumor-mongers to rest here with “Nie Wieder,” one of the most vitriolic anti-Nazi songs I’ve ever run across. Recommended.