Just over a year ago, Rebel Time Records released Immortels, the latest full length from Parisian streetpunk outfit Brigada Flores Magon. The album is an international effort, being co-published or promoted by Machete Records (France), Discos Machete (Mexico), RASH GDL (Mexico), PM Press (USA), Dure Realite (Quebec), RASH USA (USA), SHARP Rio De Janeiro (Brazil), Three Way Fight (USA), Motorcity Produzioni (Italy), Cortex (Germany), Potencial Hardcore (Spain) and Unite And Win (Brazil).
This speaks heavily not only to the band’s internationalist efforts and message, but to the very roots of punk music: we work together to make the world a better place. We can sing and yell and circle pit and whatever else, but ultimately, the power of music and the power of the genre comes from our relationships to one another and how we can envision and put into practice a better world.
It’s been over fifteen years since Brigada Flores Magon’s last album, Tout Pour Tous, and with the band only recently returning after a brief hiatus, Immortels is ten tracks of upbeat and angry anti-capitalist streetpunk. The band has had many line-up changes over the years and are currently made up of Mateo on vocals, Goose and Arno Rudeboy on guitars, Laurent on bass, Julien on drums, and the whole band along with Kevin and Xav providing backup vocals. The album was recorded and mixed in June of 2022 and released in September.
It’s a no-bells-and-whistles approach, with a dash of oi! thrown in. Fans of groups like The Casualties or even the Skinflicks will get a lot out of this, but fans of more thoughtful bands within the genre will get a lot more out of the lyrics than a lot of the more generalized ‘Heck the system and I’m upset!’ style lyrics. The album is just over thirty minutes long, but stays with you long after with a number of catchy-hooks, profound lyrics, and inspiring melodies.
“Eux contre nous” is the first track on the album that really pulled me in. There’s the slightest bit of skatepunk influence and a chorus that will keep you up at night when you can’t sleep because of capitalist-dread. The lyrics are all sung in French, but the English lyrics are provided online as well (for those who want to practise their translation skills). The refrain in the track “Ils sont seuls contre tous / Et c’est eux contre nous” is just brilliant.
My next highlight is “Quand vient la nuit.” The track is an urgent and empowering call to action to, both lyrically and figuratively, creating the fire to light our ways in the dark. Like so many other tracks on this album, the band shows their chorus-writing prowess, taking elements from all over the punk subgenre. The track also includes a reggae-tinged bridge, because how else can you show your streetpunk and oi! influence?
“Leur morale et la notre” is maybe the poppiest track on the record that makes me dream of a world where Green Day was more MRR and less Karrang. The album’s closer, “Class war,” has an immediate impact with a repeated verse line of “Nous n’avons plus rien à perdre / Chaque jour nous creusons leur tombe / Nous serons leur pire cauchemar (We have nothing left to lose / Every day we dig their grave / We’ll be their worst nightmare). Because honestly, if you’re not making allusions to Marxism and revolution in your lyrics, why are you even getting out of bed?
Les Immortels is a fantastic release that should be a part of every revolutionary’s playlist, especially if you’re looking to hear something a little more passionate and pointed within the streetpunk genre with some nice oi! influence. It’s a great release and makes me excited to get into the group’s prior releases and anticipate what could come next.
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