I lived in Madison, WI from 1998-2001, three of the peak years for the city’s oi legends Brass Tacks. Their live shows were incredible, and as much as I loved their full-length CD, I always felt that it was a shame that it wasn’t available on vinyl. The band is back together, and to commemorate the fifteenth anniversary of Just the Facts, BeerCity released it for the first time as an LP, as well as rereleased it on CD. Both versions include the full-length, as well as The Good LifeEP and a song from a classic Helen of Oi! compilation. Conspicuously absent is the hidden cover track that appeared on the initial CD version, but keeping the original collectible isn’t a bad thing, especially since this new edition is essential, too. Tragically, the drummer passed away 2011, but the band lives on. Influenced more by hardcore-driven U.S. oi than by classic European oi, Brass Tacks fits on the harder edge of the subgenre. Brass Tacks is lyrically interesting as well, covering standard skin tropes, but with lyrics that are simultaneously humorous and intelligent. Some of the best times I had in Madison were spent crammed into basements watching Brass Tacks rip through their hits. Finally being able to hear those songs on vinyl is a real treat. Just the Facts is a true classic. Hopefully this reissue will help keep the Brass Tacks legend alive.
–Art Ettinger (Beer City)