There’s something strangely fascinating about radical skinhead music. We’re not talking Oi! music or ‘street punk’, that politically unadventurous football hooligan variant of punk rock that cropped up in the UK around 1980. We’re talking angry young men who have dedicated their music and their lives to a cause and are not adverse to using physical violence to advance it. Sadly, the majority of these are of the far-right variety. Radically left-wing skinhead bands were a rarity in the 80s and 90s, but they have seen a steady growth in the past few years.” />
Non-Servium are a skinhead band from Madrid whose music has little to do with celebrating working class stereotypes as laid down by the tabloid press. Instead, they are members of ‘RASH‘ – Red and Anarchist Skinheads, an international movement founded in 1993 in response to the conservatism of the traditional skinhead subculture.
Musically, their first two albums ‘Orgullo Obrero’ and ‘N.S.A: La Santa Familia’ are pure, heavy Oi, sometimes fast and furious, sometimes slow and plodding. The standout track Anti-Nazi is a fine example of the latter tendency:
It’s hard to deny musical similarities to nationalist bonehead bands such as Condemned 84, but where the likes of Close Shave act “hard as nails”, Non-Servium sound like they eat nails for breakfast.
What Non-Servium have in common with their adversaries from the other side of the political spectrum is a tendency to drift towards more metallic musical terrains once they have mastered their instruments. Perhaps it’s because metal offers a better outlet for fantasies of hypermasculinity, a feature of the skinhead aesthetic that all the different factions are affected by to some degree?
Luckily, Non-Servium’s 2007 album ‘El Imperio Del Mal’ never degenerates into the cheesy ersatz metal so often produced by the right-wing bonehead brethren, instead offering a powerful oi-cum-hardcore racket with occasional chugga-chugga metal breaks. And while the album may still sound a bit clumsy in places, two excellent, brand new tracks posted on their myspace profile (Sangre Per Sangre and Bendita Locura) indicate that Non-Servium have now geared their new sound towards perfection and found a voice all of their own.
And because it’s not style but content that defines their raison d’etre skinheads, they took the liberty of growing little mohicans as of late, which makes them look like a funny punk-skinhead hybrid: