“La Historia Oficial” gusts forth with a triumphant solo billowing from the drummer’s simple volley, but the sound, easily placed with the shaved and booted, is taken from behind. Ausencia’s 2014 demo has made its rounds, powered by its Spanish bite.
It’s a new turn for Oi!’s resurgence, which has gained steam with England’s The Flex and Boston’s Chain Rank. Ausencia is not from Mexico, but Los Angeles. The band is a product of that flourishing scene that gave us Blazing Eye. The three agree with that environment. The release is odd. They play in Tozcos and Rayos X, which conform to a straighter, less street, more d-beat style. Yet, what joins these bands is the lack of English.
It’s familiar heckling: discontent, war, and death. Yet, the opening “Sombra De Exilio” is provocative, for it engages “two borders,” and one thinks Mexico-United States relations. It doesn’t delve much farther. The lyrics are still preferable to a skin’s embarrassing belief in his immortality (a popular Oi! theme). Ausencia question the supremacy of the English grunt.
The Latin root melds fantastically with the stride and severity. The low-fidelity adds a layer of dust to the mix, the only things to emerge are the vocals and solos. Ausencia curls the word almost at a croon. They play with a tender stomp, recalling Cock Sparrer’s “I Got Your Number.” The classic of early Oi! goads notice to how the genre sprouted so close to the stadium rock of the 1970s a la Thin Lizzy. It’s the younger, dumber sibling lacking in theatrical largesse, retaining grit aspirations.
Punk is back, and so are the legions of wasteful listens. Ausencia is not that, but only a few minutes of Oi! pleasure spoken unfamiliarly. It evokes a similar feeling of Sheer Mag’s 7’’, which graced us with candied pop shorts. However, Ausencia are of a different background in a dangerously conservative genre. Anyway, with England dawdling in the “First World,” there spawns the need to listen to those less well off, moreover those less white and European. The demo should be a no brainer.