Iena / Scalpo split EP

At first, I found this quite simple, almost pop, but as it went on I became immersed in the rowdy, dark Oi! grooves. European Oi! and the like are not a specialty for me; I love CAMERA SILENS, I’ve checked out PRISION POSTUMO (not sure I’m even accurate here, but whatever, this reminds me of them), KRONSTADT LPs…I don’t know much. But damn, I really dig this. It’s super catchy and executed very tightly. Of the four total songs, my favorite IENA track is “Luna,” which is actually a cover of LITFIBA, an Italian new wave duo. IENA’s side is perfect. SCALPA’s side is bit heavier, almost like Oi! meets later RUDIMENTARY PENI. SCALPO also does a cover of ROUGH, an Oi! band from Torino, Italy. Overall, this is a great Italian Oi! split. Glad for the introduction!

Scalpo È La Lotta L’Avvenire flexi EP

Right from the start of È La Lotta L’Avvenire, a metallic, suggestive, and defiant bass grabs you by the neck and it won’t let go. Then a simple but effective guitar lick comes into the scene and razes everything in its path. Next thing you know, you’ve listened to the EP fifteen times in a row. SCALPO has that dark and cold sound you’d expect from a band based in Sondrio, a little town in the north of Italy, almost caressing the Switzerland border. Also, their sound is in the vein of the Italian Oi!/hardcore bands forged on those northern lands. You can hear a bit of NABAT in the rawness, but also in the more catchy, commercial parts. Throw some WRETCHED in there, and I even hear some NEGAZIONE—the more straightforward tunes, not the psychedelic, unhinged ones. They sure have a taste for vintage sounds and sand-like guitar textures, but without losing a keen, sharp sound. The ideal soundtrack for long, bitter winters in boring border towns. When I listen to it, I feel transported to Italy in the ’80s: the Years of Lead, deindustrialized cities, strikes, picket lines, social conflict, depressed communities, and skinheads taking the streets. A must-listen.