Black Sheep Squadron - Foreign Object (Cover Artwork)

Black Sheep Squadron

Foreign Object (2006)


Black Sheep Squadron, more commonly referred to as Black SS, are a hardcore punk rock juggernaut from Assault City, NY (that's Syracuse to you).

Black SS come from the school of Negative Approach, Uniform Choice and Kill Your Idols. They keep things short and to the point. Much like their influences, Black SS are not afraid to say what they think. They do not mince words or get all metaphorical about whatever is pissing them off. After releasing a handful of seven inches and splits, they have finally delivered their first proper full-length via Reaper Records. Foreign Object is a 12-song, 19-minute record that starts off fast and never slows down.

These guys have a bit of an obsession with professional wrestling, as evidenced by the album art on both the front and back cover. In the realm of hardcore punk, Black SS are equivalent to Abdullah The Butcher. They are pissed off, wild and out of control just like the wrestling legend. Except instead of taking a fork to the head of Terry Funk, Black SS rip through tunes like "Bonehead" and "Have Some Self Respect," which illustrate their frustration on the current state of society and today's punk scene.

The opener "Quick Fix" addresses the dependence that people put on drugs and alcohol for an easy solution to life's problems. Vocalist Chuck shouts "go ahead and self-medicate, when you wake up the problem's still there." Instead of coming off as just another preachy straight-edge band, Black SS bring up very real concerns about addiction that should apply to everyone.

Black SS are not afraid of getting political. "I Want Out," which may be the album's standout track, is a circle pit-inducing romp about feeling disenfranchised with the current administration running the good ol' USA. "Better You Than Me" takes a shot at the "support the troops" mentality. It's apparent that these guys are not feeling particulary sorry for those who volunteer to join the military and go off to war.

If you think hardcore should be all about breakdowns, spin kicks and mosh parts, Black SS probably aren't for you. On the other hand, if you're craving a band whose sound is remniscent of a time when hardcore wasn't sold at Hot Topic, this should be right up your alley.

Foreign Object is a furious steel chair shot to the skull of today's hardcore scene. Take notice, because this is what hardcore punk rock should sound like.