Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Templars' Greatest Hits

It's a pretty safe bet to call the Templars one of the best American Oi bands of all time. That might not being saying much, especially since the competition in this country has always been slim. Most American Oi music is horribly one-sided and boring. If you are not a fan of Oi music in general, then none of this probably matters to you anyway.

Thankfully, the Templars draw from more than just the Oi paradigm, with their early material adhering to a very lo-fi garage sound with a semi-clean guitar tone that reminds me of the Kinks or early Who, but also gives a big nod to the French skinhead bands from the early 80s. Look past the gruff vocals, and you'll hear a great garage band in the truest sense of the word (that's where they recorded their best stuff). In many ways they were ahead of the time, but like any Oi band with almost twenty years behind them, the Templars produced their fair share of mediocre songs, and also wrote the occasional patriotic tune that would have your ultra-liberal friend pulling at his collar. One can't help but smile at the irony of writing a song proclaiming "The Sixties are Dead!", when they themselves returned to that decade time and time again for musical influence. Do a little digging, and you will definitely find more than enough gems in their discography to secure their standing as one of the best punk bands of the 90s.

Luckily, I started the digging for you. Below is a link to my favorite Templars jams. If you are already a Templars fan, then let me know what I left off.

Carl's Templars Mix


Michael S. said...

Solid selection. "Shades of Grey" is Templars par excellence! I would have also thrown in "Night of the Seagulls," "No Escape" from the Glory Stompers split 12", and "Nowhere Fast" from the Crashed Out split 7". And perhaps "Dawns Early Light" from the French Connection ep. Too many good songs!

Neck said...

“Shades of Grey” is probably my favorite Templars song. The list was too long before I parred it down to 16. "Night of the Seagulls" barely missed the cut. “The Glory it Once Was” and “Chansons De Geste” were also dropped after I realized I had selected almost every track from the 1118 – 1312 10” (a great starting place for the uninitiated). Other songs that I almost included: “The Templars”, “Modern Day Ripper”, “The City”, and “Worth My While”. Like you said, too many classics.

Michael S. said...

In my opinion, the 1118-1312 10" is by far the best record the Templars put out. The quality of your Phase II tracks sounds awesome. Are they from the re-mastered LP that Vulture Rock put out? I only have the Dim Records issue, which is piss poor quality in comparison. I think we can both agree that the self-recorded Acre Studio jams are where it's at (inferred from your selection of songs).