Currently listening to The Barstool Preachers forthcoming album, Grazie Governo. (Out Aug 24th on Pirates Press) The new album proffers 13 tracks of rather polished sounding punk-based rock and roll. I like the sound, a lot of the time, I think… Well I’m a bit on the fence honestly.
Let me try to give an example. A track will start, like track four, “Choose My Friends” and it sort of drifts in feeling a bit more like Blue October than a ska punk song. I’m sort of not feeling it, but then the chorus kicks in and I’m suddenly way into it. Most of the tracks have given me a similar feeling thus far.
Don’t get me wrong though. The material is solid. It’s well written, played, recorded etc, but there’s something hanging over it that leaves me feeling a slight bit insecure about it I suppose.
I was reading through their bio just now and I think one line in particular helped put a finer point on what I’m feeling. “The Bar Stool Preachers are a band for EVERYONE”. This is exactly what is shining through. Having a broad appeal is fine, but it can stretch too thin sometimes. Imagine a restaurant that has a sweeping wide menu covering food and drinks in a thousand directions. Sure they’ll satisfy the needs of a wide range of customers. It’s rare however that all the items are particularly amazing. I’m more the type who likes places that offers a handful of things they do exceedingly well. You go to them when you know what you want.
I had pretty high hopes for the band when I reviewed an earlier EP. I was anticipating things would take a different turn, or rather be a continuum in a determined direction. I don’t like panning something, and I hope I’m not doing so here. I really do enjoy the opener/title track and the overall gist of the sound. I enjoy the spirit of the album, and honestly from the photos they seem like a fun and happy bunch of blokes. I like most of the choruses as well. Heck, I’ll go on record and say that if this album was all chorus, I would be entirely on board.
There are some additional tracks that have a little more of what I’m looking for. Including the title track:
1. Grazie Governo
11. Since You
12. Force Fed
The bottom line is it ain’t bad, it just ain’t for me.
In a time when new punk bands have less and less to say, a bright light shines across the pond from Brighton, England. The Bar Stool Preachers are bringing back the essence of punk: music with a message. And do we ever need it in our world today! Defying genres, impossible to put in a box, challenging to the best of writers, this is a band you’ll want to interview rather than review. And B.S.P. are ready and waiting for your questions, excited to tell you of their intent, passions, goals and dreams. Whether you want to talk about their volunteer work, the political causes they hold dear to their hearts, or just hear about living in the most exciting and progressive town on the island, these boys are up for it!
Although The Bar Stool Preachers are only just beginning as a band, their album is the perfect blend of intelligent punk anthems and poignant, unsentimental love songs, both combined with the most infectious music you’ll hear this decade. “Grazie Governo” (Italian for “Thank You, Government”) exemplifies this, as the tongue-in-cheek title is the first indication that The Bar Stool Preachers are wise beyond their years. But you get a full thirteen songs of hits on this record, no filler, with a different song rising to the top to be ‘your favourite’ on every listen. Yes, this album is that good.
From the eclectic scene of punk and ska bands in the UK, The Bar Stool Preachers are a band for EVERYONE – a group of blue collar musicians who can instantly connect with anyone they play for. Exhibiting a tireless DIY work ethic that is unparalleled by its peers, the band has traveled the world gaining fans with engaging performances on the back of its critically acclaimed debut “Blatant Propaganda.”
Frontman Tom McFaull has a storied musical lineage running through his veins. The son of Colin McFaull, singer of the legendary Cock Sparrer, he’s learned a lesson or two from his father. With this pedigree, the younger McFaull leads the charge for a new generation of punk bands with incomparable charisma and anger that cannot fail to impress.
But their family is more than blood. Having Aimee Interrupter (The Interrupters) lending her voice on “Choose My Friends” and Pirates Press Records’ extended family (including Rancid, The Bouncing Souls, Dropkick Murphys and many others) in their corner, The Preachers are fortunate to have a wealth of experience and support to help lift them to their inevitable heights. They are also already famed for turning every show attendee, writer, photographer, interviewer and other band’s members into fast friends within minutes of meeting. Yes, they are that special.
After an exceptionally successful showing at Punk Rock Bowling 2018 and a West Coast run, a followup East Coast tour supporting Street Dogs, and more touring planned at the end of 2018 and thought 2019, The Bar Stool Preachers are ready to provide the soundtrack to your summer, and beyond, as they take over North America in support of “Grazie Governo!”