7er Jungs - Semper Fidelis / Semper Invictvs - Great Years In The Blitz
Sunny Bastards / Bezirk 7 Records
Altough 7er Jungs’ debut album “One Pride Fits All” has been reissued in respectively 2013 (CD, Rebellion Records) and 2016 (LP, Step-1 Music) - it has been nearly 15 years since it was originally released in 2005 through Randale Records (LP) and Sunny Bastards (CD), a long time indeed! Luckily the jungs from Cologne, Germany make up for it this year with not one, but two new releases for Sunny Bastards and Bezirk 7 Records - all while celebrating the band’s 15th anniversary!
First up is “Semper Fidelis”. Only released on vinyl, this is 7er Jungs’ ‘official’ sophomore album and it features a grand total of twelve songs! I would like to say that they’re all new, but fact is of course that an anthem like “We Salute The Skinheads” or those great versions of “They Walked In Line” and “Cum On Feel The Noize” (acoustic version) have been previously released one way or another. Nothing uncommon though, it happens all the time that tracks from a single or an EP end up on a full-length, especially when there is a gap of 14 years between them. Besides that, there is still plenty of new music to enjoy on this slab of wax!
“Bester Freund”, “Skinheads”, “Korn, Frau’n Und Bier”, “Alkohol”, “Tanz Der Arbeiter”, “NRW Gesoxx” - plenty indeed, all in that significant style of the band you either like or love! Heavily infused with rock ‘n’ roll music, 7er Jungs never sounded (or acted) like your typical Germany Oi! band - which instantly caught my attention the first time I ever heard of them years ago, and I’ve been a fan ever since. This new record is no exception - the sound, the mix of mainly German lyrics, but also a handful in English, Markus’ clear, raspy vocals and the massive choruses are good for one earworm after another, definitely making you hope it won’t take these guys another decade and a half until their next full-length!
Limited to 500 copies total, the vinyl comes in a variety of variations. Because besides the 200 - ‘regular’ - copies on black vinyl, “Semper Fidelis” is also available on clear green marbled vinyl, red clear marbled vinyl and an unique mix of blue, red, white and black marbled vinyl - all coming in a run of 100 copies each. And if that isn’t enough, the cover has a glow in the dark effect - making it look cool and very easily to find in the dark all in one! Awesome!
But as I wrote earlier, 7er Jungs put two releases out this year - the second one being “Semper Invictvs - Great Years In The Blitz”. Though you could see this as the CD-version of “Semper Fidelis”, this double-CD is much... much more! Because despite that it took the boys years to get their second LP out, they didn’t sit still in between. Anything but really, aside a string of contributions to compilation albums, 7er Jungs also released five split singles/EP’s and six singles/EP’s on their own! All collected on “Semper Invictvs - Great Years In The Blitz”, this set features a grand total of 47(!) songs with recordings dating back to 2004 such as the covers “Poseur”, “Combat 84” and “We’re The Hooligans”, to more recent favorites such as “Great Days In The Blitz”, “No Time For Fasci/nation”, “Mädchen Mögen Skinheads, “Stuka Löve” and “...Immer Noch Weiter”. Fantastic!
Now I have to admit, if you don’t own a turntable and you buy “Semper Invictvs - Great Years In The Blitz” partially (or mainly) because you want to hear “Semper Fidelis”, it can be a bit of a puzzle. All of the songs are on there, yet not in their chronological order. Besides this little inconvenience, you get a hefty collection of songs and a fantastically designed, colorful booklet with liner notes in return, so suck it up!
Last, though certainly not least, I need to mention that “Semper Invictvs - Great Years In The Blitz” is also available as a collectors box. Limited to just 77 copies total, the big, tin box includes the double-CD, an extra CD with four rehearselroom recordings from 2004, three shot glasses with 7er Jungs’ skull logo engraved in them, five beer coasters and a magnetic bottle opener - a killer set altogether! Now it’s up to you to decide which - or how many - version(s) you are going to pick up... Good luck deciding!