Not many people know this, but aside from Jamaican Rocksteady/Ska music, Second Wave Reggae, actually, first started in London, England during the 1970-80's with the onslaught of Hardcore/Punk. Oftentimes, known as "Skinhead Reggae," the genre was largely supported and played by non-violent working class youth and was chronicled on a 2002 3-CD collection called Trojan Skinhead Reggae Box Set. Now, it appears as though Skinhead Reggae is experiencing a comeback, of sorts, in of all places, Moscow, Russia. The Witzard has recently showcased two Russian Library Music/Funk bands, The Great Revivers & The Soul Surfers, but I have to admit, this is the first time I've ever heard of any Punk/Hardcore-related music coming out of Russia. The artist in question is Moscow-based Skinhead Reggae group called The Punchers and they've just released their first physical release, Punch from The Jungle EP, on Magnetic Loft Records. The Punchers have been together for about a year, according to Magnetic Loft Records, and have been steadily playing shows in and around Russia. Magnetic Loft, actually, released The Great Revivers' 2014 limited edition 7-inch, Spy Potion / Rural Moonshine / Rhino's Walk.
It appears as though the band consists of frontman Kirill Sosed, bassist Vladimir Jurin, guitarists Artem Piskun & Evgeniy Balashov, keyboardist Kamil' Gazizov, and drummer Stas Ikonov. Prior to forming The Punchers, its members have previously played with The Wheeler-Dealers, The Skatholics, The Invibers, and The Lappers and have been a major part of the local Russian Ska & Reggae scene for a number of years. "We support [the] original Reggae sound of 1969. No peace, no love, just pure Aggro sounds!" The Punchers enthusiastically write on their Facebook page. As a life-long Punk/Hardcore & Ska fan, The Punchers' debut Extended Play, Punch from The Jungle, is a perfectly quick, yet effective 12-minute blast of feverish old school Skinhead Reggae! Punch from The Jungle is now available to stream or download from Magnetic Loft Records' Bandcamp page with 100% of the proceeds earned going directly to The Punchers. Early next year, Punch from The Jungle will be available as a 7-inch vinyl EP from Moscow-based Mangy Little Mut (MLM) Records. Frontman Kirill Sosed says The Punchers are currently "planning to play more shows and record more songs soon."