South Africa based hardcore punk band, The Old-timers, have simultaneously released two new EPs, TURN IT OFF and TURN IT UP! Totalling eight songs for the pair of EP’s, it would have seemed natural to release a single full-length, but the gulf between the two EP’s is wide.
The disparaging term “Bible thumper” is given a new form by The Old-timers. TURN IT OFF righteously thumps Christians for our lack of concern, sensitivity, and compassion. “Untouchables” speaks about the social stratification of our communities. “Homeless Friends” dwells on how insular we truly are by shunning the homeless.
With righteous indignation burning in my chest, I detest the way you treat my homeless friends. You treat them like dogs, Your hatred never ends. You chase them away, like they’re subhuman.
TURN IT OFF also deals with our self-centered materialism on “Crowns” and a righteous condemnation of the “Televangelist” who preach their fixation on a prosperity gospel.
The second EP from The Old-timers, TURN IT UP! shifts the focus to the positive or proactive Christian stance. “Broken Glass” centers on the love and grace given to friends, even when those friends do “stupid” things. “Angela” recounts an attempt at speaking of Christ’s love to Satanic a hitch-hiker. Punk icon, Sef Idle adds his vocals to “No Regrets” with the ongoing story every musician encounters as they struggle to prioritize their time on the road and being with their family.
TURN IT UP! ends with an extended cut of the previously released “This City”. Long a stand-out track for The Old-Timers, the song covers the love/hate relationship with a community that’s falling into depravity and the realization that only Christ can redeem it.
I may not like this city But I love this city I may not like this place But there is nowhere else I’d rather be I love this city, I love, love, love this city. Jesus come and save this place, There is nowhere I’d rather be!
Musically and lyrically The Old-Timers haven’t forgotten the roots of punk. That genre’s foundation was laid with it’s harsh condemnations of the failings of society. With TURN IT OFF and TURN IT UP!, The Old-timers hit us with the truth about the unconscionable short-comings of our world. With further direction, The Old-timers remind us that by following the will of Christ, He can provide the grace sought by ourselves and our world. Let us be those hands and feet.
The Old-timers don’t simply talk about taking action, they do it. All proceeds of the sale of these EP’s go directly to helping the homeless in Cape Town, South Africa through U-turn Homeless Ministries http://www.homeless.org.za