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Mad Mulligans: Members of The Krays, American Eagle Bring Classic Oi! Sound on Debut EP

Photo: Frank Molina Photography

Mad Mulligans is a new band comprised of musicians from The Krays, American Eagle, and Darkside NYC. In terms of their stylistic direction, the influence of groups like Cockney Rejects and Sham 69 should leave zero room for guessing.

Yes, Mad Mulligans are all about Oi!, a sound that feel has been diluted over the years. Their first release, Who Are the Mad Mulligans?, is a 7-track EP showcasing their penchant for big bright guitar riffs and sing-along choruses.

With the EP out now, No Echo spoke with Wynn Skism and Albee Damned from Mad Mulligans to get their story and learn more about their passion for the Oi! sound.

You guys come from some stalwart NYC bands going back to the ‘80s. Give me the backstory on the formation of Mad Mulligans. 

Wynn Skism: Well, we've played together off and on for around three decades, so when Albee started up Mad Mulligans and reached out to people to join in, it just felt natural to start contributing ideas and music, and before you knew it, it was a band. 

Albee Damned: Me, Wynn, and Johnny [Kray] are the founding members of the Krays, and Johnny still fronts them. Me and Wynn are currently in American Eagle as well as the Mulligans. We formed out of frustration from being locked down in 2020. I started recording some songs at home because I couldnt get together with any of the other bands i regularly play with.

I sent the songs out for back-up vocals to everyone I knew and about 11 people contributed. Johnny, Wynn, and Rich [O'Brien] came back to me with aditional material to use and also finished up some incomplete shit i had. We all wound up singing lead vocals on our own songs and were gonna keep it that way, kinda like a punk rock Beatles

Although the 4 of us became the core of the band, we feel that its a conglomeration of friends. There will always be additional people as part of the cast (the CD is credited with all 11 guys in those anthem vocals as band members). Also, since the 4 of us play multiple instruments, we don't plan on playing the songs as a routine lineup.

Who knows who the drummer will be if we play out? Rich may sing shit that Johnny sang and Wynn may be the guitar player instead of bass. We're gonna flip around and have fun with it. I'm sure there will be many guests coming up for songs.

You make mention of “no hardcore” and “no metal” in your bio info, why was that important? Do you think Oi! these days has been largely diluted by outside influences? 

Albee: Thats a bit of a joke, but I do feel that a lot of Oi! is really just hardcore repackaged as skinhead music. Oi! has been squeezed into this very narrow form of music that is largly caveman thug music, and it's not and should'nt remain so. Early Oi! bands such as Cock Sparrer, Sham 69, or The Business werent based solely around being a skinhead.

The earlier bands were also very melodic which most Oi! has lost touch with. The difference between punk and Oi! in the earliest days was whether you went to art school or shoveled coal.

Yeah, there are definite early '80s hardcore influences in our music, but since most hardcore these days is an overproduced short-haired version of metal, I wanted to differentiate our style from that 

Photo: Dee Curtis Photography

What can you tell me about the lyrics on the Who Are the Mad Mulligans? record?

Wynn: A lot of putting a song together is trying to make music that you want to listen to. If you do that chances are that some other people will like it as well. As for lyrics, I think it's largely what's going on in your brain at the moment, whether it be frustration with work/life, a memory of an event, commentary on life or its situations, wishful thinking or some sort of amalgam.

Albee: The best example of inspiration would be the song called "Jimmy Got Robbed." When the drums were recorded, we realized it was very similar to Sham 69's "Tell Us the Truth." Instead of tossing the song out, we decided to turn it into a Jimmy Pursey tribute song.

We used lyrical elements from 5 other Sham songs. "Bricks and Batteries" is about taking to the streets to over throw an oppressive regime. "Divided We Fall" (which is only on the UK issue) is about being divided and conquered through our current polorized politics.

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Who Are the Mad Mulligans? is out now via Rotten Bastard Records (US) and Dammit Records (UK). You can also get it digitally via Bandcamp.

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