KALEKO URDANGAK: Bizirik
Release year: 2021
Label: Tough Ain’t Enough Records
Of all the unlikely places for one of the most burgeoning, active and just plain old good oi! scenes to pop up, the Basque Country (in Spain) definitely ranks pretty high. And yet, in the last few years, I’ve become absolutely enamored with bands such as Orreaga 778, Asedio and Kaleko Urdangak. Labels such as Mendeku Diskak and Tough Ain’t Enough have been releasing this stuff, and I’m not the only one enamored with this surprising and active scene: releases tend to sell out quick.
Kaleko Urdangak are absolutely one of the prime proponents of this scene. Their previous album, Nortasuna (2018), is one of the best oi! albums in years. Tough as nails, melodic, full of singalong choruses – the only problem is that the lyrics are in Basque, so it’s hard to chant along event with lyric sheet in hand!
Bizirik doesn’t change the winning recipe: this is still classic, melodic yet aggressive oi! with plenty of catchy shoutalong choruses and the whole lot. Kaleko Urdangak’s style of bootboy punk rock owes as much to for example the Italian oi! sound as it does to the British classics, but their energy is all their own.
Not everything is as before: that twin lead riff on Buruz Behera sounds like the band have picked some pointers from the Iron Maiden playbook! That’s not a bad thing: the occasional slight heavy metal tint to a riff here and there just gives the sound an additional punch.
And a punch this album packs, indeed. Bursting with energy, all the more amplified by a great and powerful sound, this album gets your blood pumping.
Whilst not doing anything particularly innovative or original, Kaleko Urdangak have managed to fill this album, like its predecessor, with great tracks, a great atmosphere, powerful energy and enough catchy choruses to keep you satisfied for a long time.
In other words, continuing with the excellent quality already present on Nortasuna, Bizirik sees the band take another step towards the frontline of today’s oi! crop.