The Royal Hounds NYC - God Bless The Royal Hounds (Cover Artwork)

The Royal Hounds NYC

God Bless The Royal Hounds (2019)

Oi! The Boat Records

Few American bands have been able to faithfully execute the traditionalist British Oi! sound mastered by legends like Cock Sparrer, Cockney Rejects, and Blitz. Arguably the best and most prolific American act to do so thus far has been the Templars.

But a much more recent band may be giving their New York brethren a run for their money; The Royal Hounds NYC, with their new release God Bless The Royal Hounds.

Following classic lo-fi Oi! production models; keeping the heavily fuzz boxed guitar in the top and center of the mix, with throaty vocals just below and slightly off to the side, a grumbling compressed bass, and drums that snap so delightfully tight that you end up cheering for the gate knob; The Royal Hounds buzz, bounce, and jump through 7 songs on their debut EP.

The opener “Heading Out” begins with a weighty, fantastic intro, and after about a minute the vocals are brought in so gradually you almost miss them. The song becomes an anthem about being a working class guy just going out for a no frills Friday night. “I Live For This” and “I Just Wanna Live This Way” stick out as the obligatory odes to the Oi!/Skinhead lifestyle itself, while “Just a Dog Thing” adds a humorous touch with a pub band vibe. Like many of their Oi! predecessors, the Hounds aren’t afraid to show their romantic side, as showcased on “Love Lost Night”. The closing track “Wine Drunk Lover” brings in a very glam, very T. Rex twist for a song about, what else, drinking and having fun.

The Royal Hounds NYC are hitting all the right Oi! and skinhead buttons. Give God Bless The Royal Hounds a spin this weekend, and get ready to dance.