The Templars - Clockwork Orange Horrorshow (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Templars

Clockwork Orange Horrorshow (2005)

TKO / Templecombe

Fifteen years is a long time to be rocking. But don't tell New York City veterans the Templars that. They'll have absolutely none of it. Now 2005, the band is re-releasing the formerly double 7" Clockwork Orange Horrorshow on CD|EP format. The release makes no giant leaps and no artistic diversions, as the band sticks to the simplistic Oi! formula that has always worked well for them in years past.

Serving as the debut release for TKO imprint label Templecombe Records, Clockwork is a testament to the sounds the band has crafted over the years. Simple arrangements work very well for the outfit, offering plenty of grit and spunk to exemplify the band's message. Working class Oi! music has always been the name of the game, with simple lyrics centered on the working life and drunken sing-alongs. The Templars' lead singer's scruffy style of shouting works well by itself, and takes on an added quality when the bassist contributes his sing-along moments. There's lots of repetition, but it serves its use well, which is hammering down the points.

The Templars have never been a band to strive for musical diversity or originality, but on that token, it does afford them plenty of time to hone in well on just what they do. The distorted guitars cut with their fuzz and power, but there's even some moments where the guitar work comes outside the realm that it's normally relegated to. "You'd Better Beware" cuts loose for a moment to let the guitar work break from its normal path, and it actually works fairly well. It's not something the band just threw in for good measure, but it fits its place.

As important to the record as anything else is the production. The vocals and instrumentation both sound terrific, while managing to maintain the raw, gritty feeling that the band has always kept with. It's just a fun record. Songs like "Teenage Warning" will undoubtedly have you singing along and tapping your foot to the rhythm.

This EP isn't going to win the Templars any new fans, nor will it push away any fans coming back, but if you want a solid Oi! record from a band who's been around for a while doing just that, look no further.