Conservative Military Image Skinhead cassette
A couple of months ago, I began to notice a buff dude popping up in pictures with some of my favorite bands like the CHISEL and VIOLENT WAY along with the letters “CMI,” and I couldn’t help but wonder “who is this guy, and what the fuck is ‘CMI’?” Well, it didn’t take long for me to find out. “CMI” is CONSERVATIVE MILITARY IMAGE, a Chicago-based band making waves with their one-two punch of EPs, Summer Skinhead and this, their debut Skinhead. Playing a catchy mix of Oi!, hardcore, and street punk, CONSERVATIVE MILITARY IMAGE has cited inspiration from bands as diverse as WARZONE, ROSE TATTOO, and NEW YORK HOUNDS. Lead singer and lyricist Adam is the glue holding this crew together, and while I love his classic tough-guy punk sneer (almost going into Stiv Bators/DEAD BOYS territory at times), the real gold is his lyrics. Clever and direct, proud and loud, Adam is extremely economical with his writing yet leaves plenty to unpack. “Generation Kill” is a great example; a sub-two-minute stomper that tells you everything you need to know about this band’s mentality and manages to slip in an easter egg of a lyric from Boston’s the TROUBLE. It’s a tasteful homage and something CONSERVATIVE MILITARY IMAGE is so good at: respectfully mining inspiration and making something fresh of their own. I’m fortunate enough to be a Chicago native and look forward to catching these guys this year. Fuckin’ Oi! is right!