WEDNESDAY NIGHT HEROES, THE: Superiority Complex: CD

One of the biggest obstacles facing oi and street punk is you’ve got to contend with the rich, tight history of bands that came before. Cocksparrer, Blitz, Abrasive Wheels, The Partisans, 999, Angelic Upstarts, Peter and the Test Tube Babies, Stiff Little Fingers and a handful of powerhouses left, literally, little room for improvement. But, there are ways to break the pub rock hammerlock. You may disagree, but Rancid and the Dropkick Murphys did it in the beginning. The US Bombs continue to do it. How? Understand the past, incorporate it like endless pints of beer into the bloodstream, then start a new riot to call your own. And you know what? The Wednesday Night Heroes, like The Boils and The Beltones, pull it off. While reminiscent of other bands, I find that a lion’s share of these songs don’t have me reaching for other well-played albums with ring-wear on the jackets. More than holds its own.

 –todd (Longshot)