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Hardcore Hooligan

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Album Review

It's street punk, and the lads love it. Veterans the Business return on Hardcore Hooligan with 12 more pint-slinging anthems to the working class and football terraces, rife with gang's-all-here singalongs and clogged with hard-barbed, brutally simplistic punk chording. Within the first four minutes, you're greeted with no less than two bawdy singalongs. "F-U! F-U-C! F-U-C-K! F*CK YOU!" the rousing opening theme, "Hardcore Hooligan," goes, to be ended by the cheers and jeers of the boys at the bar. But that's only the first minute and a half. What about "Southgate (Euro 96)," with its snarky putdowns of Premier League defender Gareth Southgate? The melody to "Lord of the Dance" is hijacked, and the supporters lock their arms and sing, "Dance now wherever you may be/'Cuz he missed the f*ckin' penalty!" The No Mercy for You holdover "Guinness Boys" throws some rollicking pub piano on the pitch, while "Maradona" and "England 5, Germany 1" are muscular and mean-spirited numbers with a large debt to the sloppy pacing of the Sex Pistols. Hooligan's aims are pretty clear then, even before the opening strains of "Viva Bobby Moore" — there isn't much room for the unit's usual calls for anarchy, unless there's a fistfight with rival footy supporters and you want to put a trash bin through a windscreen. This singularity makes Hooligan a perfect soundtrack for the activities so heartily described within it — to review, those are drinking, fighting, and watching football — but rather ineffective for anything else. In fact, without these lusty vices as a thread, Hardcore Hooligan would border badly on retread. Mickey Fitz and his pals have been at it for over 20 years, after all. Fortunately for them, thickheaded Sham 69 riffs and prideful football rallying cries never really go out of style. Like bacon-flavored crisps, you either love them or hate them.


Formed: October, 1979 in London, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The Business first emerged off the streets of South London in October 1979, leading a new wave of British punk that was hardly new wave at all. Instead, the Business, along with peers such as Angelic Upstarts, Blitz, and the 4-Skins, came out with a version of punk that was harder and more streetwise than ever, while still maintaining the anthemic qualities of the heavily influential Sham 69. Commonly referred to as Oi! or street-punk, these groups' most obvious brethren comprised the early American...
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Hardcore Hooligan, The Business
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