Stinx — Oldskull (2018)
Author: Шпинат

Stinx — self-proclaimed mastodons of Ukrainian punk. Sounds like boasting, but it's suitable for this band. Since 2005, in different compositions and with different intensity, Stinx has always been part of the punk scene, playing with pop-punk bands, and with psychobilly bands and with such punk legends as The Queers, The Lurkers and The Vibrators.

I still remember being a 15-year-old schoolboy in 2009 and that first time when I heard Stinx at the Kiev Punk Fest and how I was shocked by how cool they are. The album "Graduating Speed" greatly influenced my musical tastes at the time, pushing to plunge into the depths of old-school punk.

Stinx announced the upcoming release, a 5-song EP in the summer of 2018. They were looking for a permanent guitarist a little bit earlier and a little bit later — after the announcement — for a permanent drummer. Considering that Stinx is a trio, the decision of searching for 2/3 of the band cannot be called standard. Often, in such situations, they just get beaten up and fall apart, but the vocalist/bass player/the only one permanent member of the band Yura Utyug is not one of those who scores. It was clearly visible on the requirements that were put forward to the applicants, namely:

"Character is impudent (in our music it is important)" and "ambitions to be a punk musician (we know, in our conditions it sounds like nonsense, but real punk rock only through" kiss my ass, fucking circumstances "and done) ".

 

That's how the "Oldskull" EP was done, through "kiss my ass, fucking circumstances!!". The release was recorded as part of Yuri "Utyug" Demidenko — bass guitar, vocals, Oleg "Leshyi" Stolinets — guitar, back-vocals, Sergey "Sid" Stefanyuk — drums, and presented by almost all other people. But, they say, played in Stinx once — stay as a member forever — and the proof of this is a special guest on the album. Vova Che, the guitar player from the very first line-up, who recorded the first two albums with the band, became responsible for the backing vocals on "Oldskull".

The album cover, which was made by Ukrainian tattoo artist Dmitry Mrachnik, the frontman of Die Fast And Decay (now not active), looks darker than the previous covers of the Stinx band and this is the only album the cover of which is completely drawn, not a collage or a processed photo. I like this minimalism in artwork because the old-school skull looks great on T-shirts, CDs, compact cassettes (yes, there was a cassette release) and, of course, on human skin.

In terms of music, the listener will get almost 15 minutes of old school punk rock with interspersed original Hard Metal genre.

 

From the very first seconds of "Apocalypse Dawn", Stinx is slightly slowed down and weighed down, but the same sound at the junction of the Ramones and "biker rock'and'roll" comes back to "Party Hard" and it remains throughout the whole record. Stinx sings about apocalypse and war side by side with songs about parties, friends, and how cool it is just to live your life in spite of everything. Gritting his teeth and overcoming difficulties, rejecting hatred, one must get high on life. This promise is close to me.

Not everyone is happy about the sound on the album, the vocals, they say, are too quiet and not energetic enough according to reviews. "Our vocals are an equal instrument and should not be accentuated on it," said Yuri to the commentators. We cannot say if he's right or wrong, but it is felt that the release was made with love, old school and with a bold character. Well, the punk attitude will not admit an error, but maybe the lesson will be handed down and the sound will change on the next release. And we will know it soon, because Stinx do not think to slow down and are already working on a new release, with tracks in Ukrainian language (for the first time in the team’s thirteen-year history), and "Oldskull" EP becomes another release, which proves that despite the fact that and rap is punk, you can still play as if we were still in the twentieth century and at the same time still kicking asses.

Oldskull by STINX

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Stinx in social networks:
https://stinx.bandcamp.com/album/oldskull
https://www.facebook.com/stinx77/

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1. Apocalypse Dawn
2. Party Hard
3. Keep on the Ride 
4. No More 
5. Oldskull

05.01.2019