IENA & SCALPO - Split Ep
  • IENA & SCALPO - Split Ep

IENA & SCALPO - Split Ep

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from DIY Conspiracy : Every once in a while I get some new Oi! record in the mail to check out. This new split EP by the Italian bands Iena and Scalpo took me by surprise and I was really excited to put the slab of vinyl on my record player. For the uninitiated, Iena is a rough-and-ready, modern-day equivalent of Bologna’s Oi! legends Nabat. The trio have come into the scene with their excellent debut Condanna A Morte in 2018, and released their second album La Morte Chiama near the end of 2019. This new split with Scalpo features four songs in total—both bands playing one own song each and a cover of an old Italian band. Iena kicks off their side with the short song “Nero Terrore”. Just as expected, their new track is raw and anthemic with a very classy touch reminiscent of the 1982 era Nabat. Just doing what they’ve been doing well already, but I’m giving them extra points for their dark and interesting lyrics in Italian. The second track “Luna” is another anthemic Oi! banger upon first hearing, but it turns out it is a cover of an old new wave band from Iena’s hometown of Florence. I hadn’t heard of Liftiba before, but after listening to the Iena’s version, I found the original video of the song on YouTube. It’s not unusual for Oi! bands to pay homage to post punk and new wave music of the ‘80s, but it’s also great when bands like Iena reinterpret old new wave songs in their own raw and aggressive way. The only thing I don’t like here is how the song ends with the repetitive chorus fading out in the end. It kind of feels unfinished and just when you get into the mood of the song, it ends and you have to flip over the vinyl to the other side. On the flipside, we have two songs from Scalpo. They are a newer band from Sondrio, Northern Italy, who released their debut demo tape in 2020, followed by a few other demo recordings and covers (Rappresaglia, Nabat, Erode). The band is only two-piece and features members of the raw punk/d-beat band Potere Negativo. Their brand of Oi! punk is more on the hardcore side of the spectrum with an intense feel into their songs. If we use the classic 1983 Skins e Punks = T.N.T. compilation EP as a point of reference, Iena might be compared to Nabat and Dioxina, while Scalpo is more in the hardcore vein of Rappresaglia. They have faster and punchier rhythm sections in the old school tradition of the ‘80s that transition into slower, heavier breakdowns and gang vocals for maximum effect. Scalpo’s first track “Uomo di ferro” translates as “the iron man” and it’s more like a classic tough-guy anthem for standing up to adversaries and being proud of yourself despite society’s pressure and the bad portrayals from the media and everyone around you. The second track “Comunicato” is a cover of Rough—the song is an early ‘80s Italian Oi! classic with some really great gang vocals. If you like the rough Oi! sound of Italy that delves into the ‘80s classics without any sugar coated ska influences, this is highly recommended.

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