Right now, we’re in the midst of a full-fledged revival of classic oi and street-punk sounds. Bands like the Chisel, Violent Way, Mess, and Syndrome 81 all have radically different takes on that genre, but all of them are doing fun, exciting things with the gang-bellow sound. Montreal’s Béton Armé — French for “Reinforced Concrete” — have been part of that world since they released their 2018 demo, and their last record was a 2021 split with Violent Way. Now, they’re back with a monstrous new four-song EP called Second Souffle — French for Second Breath.
Béton Armé, as you’ve probably already figured out, sing in French. Their sound is both lo-fi and straight-ahead, and it doesn’t veer far from the classic late-’70s/early-’80s British style. Still, this hard-flexing style tends to sound completely different in that language. There’s a long tradition of French oi bands, and Rixe have one of the most beloved groups in the genre for years, but it’s still striking. All the songs on Second Souffle hit like readymade anthems. Stream the EP below.
Members of Béton Armé also play in a Montral band called Spleen, and they also just released their demo. Spleen’s style also draws on oi, but there’s some new wave and post-punk in there, too. There’s also a ton of echo on the vocals. If you’re more into the warped, blurry style of bands like Syndrome 81, Home Front, and Squelette, then this one might be more your speed. Stream the Spleen demo below.
The Second Souffle EP and the Spleen demo are out now on Roachleg Records.