Hard Skin - Same Meat Different Gravy (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Hard Skin

Same Meat Different Gravy (2005)


Oh, you crazy Brits. Over the years you've exported the likes of the Beatles, Monty Python, and the Spice Girls across the pond. Okay, so maybe we could have done without the last one. Regardless, much of the music and comedy us Americans have enjoyed over the last half a century has come from your shores. Well, Hard Skin's parody Oi! album Same Meat, Different Gravy attempts to encompass both of those traits in one simple, singalong, anthemic batch of songs. And for what they do, I can honestly say this is a damn fun album. If you go into this album with the right attitude, which is any attitude that doesn't hope this music will improve your IQ, you're bound to enjoy it.

At its basis, this is incredibly simple, relatively thoughtless music, not that most of the Oi! prevalent in Britain before this wasn't, but since these songs are parodies, it brings even less thought to the table. With such simple song structures, it really begs the question: What the hell makes these songs so good? As somebody who's never really enjoyed Oi! music before, I find myself wanting to join into these rousing singalongs right along with the band. These two-chord anthems provide plenty of those singalong moments, as ridiculous as the lyrics may be. This includes using the word "cunt" an unheard of amount of times, using "arse" in place of "ass," and just other general shenanigans. The cheeky and fun kind, not of the cruel and tragic sort.

It's the singalongs that make this album a fun one, and this is exhibited to a tee in "Law And Order (Up Your Arse)," which sounds remarkably like Rancid's "Ruby Soho," right down to the vocals during the verses. Similarities aside, the song is still a rousing good time, as is fist-pumping anthem "Still Fighting Thatcher." "Skin Hard" is an almost hardcore-sounding song, complete with a chorus of handclaps that really get your foot tapping and head bobbing. Through all thirteen songs, the same spirit of having a good time and having a few drinks is present, as that's just what this skinhead threesome is all about. There's no hidden messages to be found, or alterior motives behind the song's lyrics; the album is just the soundtrack to drinking at the old pub with some good friends.

While Alex Trebek will never be asking you a question about Hard Skin's less-than-poetic lyrics, for fans of Oi! bands such as Sham 69, the Cockney Rejects, and 4-skins, the lack of intelligence and overabundance of singalong choruses is just what's in order.