Booze & Glory – As Bold As Brass

© 2014 Sailor’s Grave Records

Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

booze_and_gloryFresh off the presses! (as of 01/28/2014) “As Bold As Brass”, the brand new LP from London’s hard working Oi! band Booze & Glory. It’s a rollicking and rowdy one indeed and sure to be a hit with all you street punks and Oi! fans out there. To be honest, this is my first listen to the band, but I like what I’ve heard thus far.

Seriously though, as fans of Oi! and street punk know, any self-respecting band of the genre is going to have driving rhythms, blue collar themes, a whole lot of loyalty to friends and fans, and of course, choruses that are chock full of, “Oi! Oi! Oi!”. “As Bold As Brass” doesn’t disappoint in that department at all.

The songs are solid and well played. This is a band that, while admittedly crafts simple, straight-forward songs, does what they do well. You know what? There’s nothing in the world wrong with that. I like my rock and roll to have a little bit of street edge and a chorus that I can scream along with at the top of my lungs to the point where the next day I’m so hoarse that you can barely understand a word that I’m saying. That’s what the fun’s all about, isn’t it?

Speaking of “about”, as a sidebar, the band’s vocals and syncopation reminds me subtly of Scottish/Canadian punk rockers the Real McKenzies. Odd perhaps, but I guess not entirely out of the vein. At any rate, this an album worth checking out for fans of both Oi! and punk rock.

Cheers!
Jerry Actually

Tracks:
1. Off We Go!
2. Leave The Kids Alone
3. Down and Out
4. Waiting For Tomorrow
5. One of Them
6. Julie
7. Only Fools Get Caught
8. Sick of You
9. Farewell Goodbye
10. I Hope You Still Remember
11. Cock & Bull Story
12. We’ll Stick Together
13. Always on the Wrong Side (Bonus Acoustic Track)

Harrington Saints – Pride & Tradition

© 2012 Pirates Press Records / Contra Records
Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

With a name like “Harrington Saints”, I’m immediately struck with the idea that this is a serious business, no holds barred, blue collar, in your face, working man’s street punk band. Maybe it’s familiarity with the genre, but there was no mistake in my assumption. These particular saints hail out of a little east bay town know as Oakland. You may have heard of it.

The band has been around since 2005 and Pride and Tradition is their second full-length. This one is produced by Lars Frederiksen. You may have heard of him. With it you get 11 tracks planted firmly in the vein of Oi and Street Punk; Blue collar rock and roll for the poor souls that have had their back broken by the man and get nothing in return.

The music is short, crisp, poignant, and timely yet timeless. (until such a time as people aren’t getting the short end of the stick I guess … so yeah, timeless.) That said, Street Punk isn’t the be all, end all for me. There is a strong tendency to get a bit repetitive. The Harrington Saints work to remedy this by not sticking strictly by the books. Tempos shift and not every track is a full on shout along. The themes run constant though; A desire for more, the tenuous grasp on the American Dream, white collar bandits, the ones who don’t put the effort in for their fair share.

Bottom line: If you like punk rock and you feel like you’ve constantly got the boot against your neck, rock the hell out and shout along with the Harrington Saints when they come crushing through your town.

–Jerry Actually