The Oxys – A Date With The Oxys

  • Peter Hough posted
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The Oxys

The Oxys

A Date With The Oxys - Dead Beat Records

For punk reviewers of a certain vintage, there is a milestone compilation album (remember them?) called New Wave, released by Vertigo in (allegedly) 1977. It’s effectively a snapshot of a NY-heavy slice of the American scene with the addition of, incongruously, The Damned and Boomtown Rats. They’re mostly all there – Talking Heads, Ramones, New York Dolls, Patti Smith, Dead Boys, Richard Hell and the Void-oids, along with the Flaming Groovies and French ‘punks’ Little Bob Story. The point of this extended reference is that A Date With The Oxys immediately feels as if it belongs to this era. And that’s not a bad thing or even coincidental, as the band were created during the Pandemic by former latter-day Dead Boys guitarist Jason ‘Ginchy’ Kottwitz, a guitar man with an impeccable gutter punk pedigree.

If you’re not of that original vintage, forget all of that. What The Oxys have created, in a frenzy of lockdown songwriting and recording, is a kind of timeless, damn fine and dirty album of garagey punk rock tunes. Opener Liars, Betrayers and Spies sets the tone, with a furious howl of feedback and a drum flourish that dissolves into a frantic, driving slice of full-on bluesy punk. It’s a wavering organ motif that pulls us into the 50s B-movie-tinged Motel Hell and from here on it’s a helter-skelter ride through the proto-punk playbook, masterfully executed. What nearly 50 years has added to the already potent recipe is a penchant for thundering powerpop sensibility that takes the force of that original snotty explosion and sugar coats it with a contemporary gloss. Rock N’ Roll Eyes and Voodoo Queen are prime examples and stand head and shoulders above the rest of this album and lift it from being a loving nostalgia trip into something now and vital.

The Oxys

There is a surplus of throwaway energy in this work. The curling lip conceals a knowing grin. There’s just enough emphasis on content over form to lift this album from being a tribute. Not bad for a band put together to realise the album. Not bad at all. I think the punk OGs no longer with us would approve.