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Label: Demons Run Amok Entertainment

Date: November 27th, 2020

Silent water runs deep, right? At least that’s what I get from the cover artwork for this precious seven inch record. A photo of the Dutch quartet standing small in front of the monumental structure most probably belonging to an institution of highest power. Band members standing strong, standing proud, unbent and unbroken. Which is the basic gist of this EP anyway.

Now, by all accounts this is a new band. Bent Out Of Shape started their journey in 2019 and already six months ago published their debut demo recording. The seven inch wax I’m reviewing here is the follow-up.

By the way, though the band is young, the four guys who made it have some serious experience under their wings, which can be clearly heard within these 11 minutes of music. Most notably, the band’s capability of creating powerful and catchy tunes out of… Well, out of nothing special. This old style of Oi! street punk needs no special introduction. You should all be familiar with it. The trick with playing such ancient music genre is to make it stand out. Yes, throughout the history it was proven that you really need to use and abuse all the clichés. Otherwise, you are losing the whole point of this rebellious type of music.

First off, you need a simple, rough, background riff. Then a bit of a melodic lead guitar to take the song into the verses. Add a fast beat behind to drive the adrenaline to pump. Color it all with a bass line. And attach a raspy, cigarette and alcohol eaten vocal. Do not forget to provide the additional gang voices to the choruses to enable the masses in the venue to release their own frustration with a loud singalong. Of course, the lyrics need to address the young, the oppressed, the lack of understanding, the broken system, the grey city streets, music, booze and the beloved countryside.

Now that you have covered all the said clichés you got yourself Bent Out Of Shape. However, you must not understand this as a criticism. This entire genre was built on clichés, spawning some amazing acts in the process. These Dutch fellas are certainly among them. The four tracks presented on this EP are simply impressive. All of them hooks that catch your brain upon the first spin. Try to forget them, I dare you. You will fail miserably.

Simply put, if you are a fan of street punk, there is no mistake with “Who Laughs Last”. Well worth your time and money. Not to forget the countless trips to the turntable to switch sides. Bent Out Of Shape is off to a flying start. Just keep up with the set pace and there is no need to worry.

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