Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Everybody Out! – S/T

As I continue down this path of punk rock discovery, one thing that is readily apparent is that, like most if not all other musical genres, there is wide range of styles. We have all this great crossover stuff, the early British punk, the New York hardcore, the O.C. stuff, and then there’s this Boston punk scene that I’ve always known about, but never paid much attention to. That is, until Racer turned me on to Street Dogs and then it was like someone turned on a light in very dark and cluttered room. I could suddenly see the brilliance of said cluttered room, and I now had the opportunity to really dissect the intricacies of the pieces of clutter littering the room.

Part of the now infamous Pope and Racer Taang! trip, is a band called Everybody Out! They’re a Boston punk outfit made up of Rick Barton, who played guitar in Dropkick Murphy’s, and The Dead Pets/Lost City Angels frontman, Sweeney Todd, and these guys play a most captivating brand of hardcore that I’ve never experienced anything quite like it. Sure . . . there are probably a ton of folks sitting around who know their Boston scene, and that’s fine, I’m not necessarily talking to you. I don’t need to . . . you’re already in the know! I’m trying to reach out to the masses of folk who are stuck in some underground bunker or  . . . Alaska . . . those folks who are unknowingly screaming for a style of music that will have them bouncing around their domiciles, bobbing their heads in time with upbeat swagger, and ultimately singing along as if their voices belonged in some choir for the ages. These are the people who need to be spinning Everybody Out!’s self-titled debut record . . .yes, record. Sure, the CD is fine, but there are tracks on the LP that don’t make it on the CD and they are must have’s!

Everybody Out! is one of those records that you can’t listen to just once . . . it won’t let you. It’s too powerful of a force, and way too compelling and fun to go on to anything else. Opening with “Wide Awake”, the quick count off and the eruption of Sex Pistols-esque punk rock overwhelms the senses. Upbeat and sung with a defiant sneer, and then suddenly launches to a stratospheric raucous tirade, and man! I love every second of this! The chorus, the backing vocals, the immediacy of the face paced tempo, and in classic punk rock fashion, the breakdown with gang vocals sells me on this one way ticket to the Boston underground. Without a pause between tracks, “Everybody Out!” drops in and the living room bounce-a-thon continues. Another up tempo rocker and I dare you to knock sing at the top of your lungs . . . “Everybody out! Everybody out!” . . . it’s simply the most contagious song on the album. The best part for me is when the guys break the song down and hand clap the rhythm while chanting the chorus. The timing of the break is perfect . . . it could have come across as cheesy, but in this case, simply perfect. It totally captures the essence of this recording.

The sing-a-longs continue through “Ghettoblaster” and by the time we get to “Jack The Lad”, filled with its Mighty Mighty Bosstone ska inflections, our singing voices should be in top form to accompany the boys through the back half of the first side of this platter. This song caught me off guard a bit because I wasn’t expecting the horn section, especially the jazz tinged mid portion, but I’ll be damned if this isn’t one of the coolest songs on the record. Seriously . . . this album is getting better and better as it goes along! Everybody Out! shows a great amount of musical diversity throughout, incorporating horns in one song, pianos on the next, straight up guitar, bass, and drums on the next . . . just keep me guessing, lads!

Putting the wraps on side 1 is the song that forced me and Racer to pick this beast up. “Billy Cole” was playing over the P.A. system at Taang! and there was nothing more we could do. We simply had to purchase the record. Without question, one of the finest purchases of the day! Sung with a very Irish cadence, almost in poetic form, “Billy Cole” is the punk rock equivalent of folk music. The boys tell a tale of a couple of people, one being a cat named Billy Cole, who lead completely different lives and probably die completely different deaths, but ultimately are just two people trying to eke their ways through life. Acoustic guitars strum a heavy rhythm and the vocals convey the lyric message that pulls on the heart strings. Then when they introduce Mike, the music turns darker and heavier, more imposing, and fuck! Just buy the record and spin this song over and over again . . . it’s that fucking awesome!

If you still have the energy to flip the platter over and attack side 2, go on ya’! You’ll find yourself bouncing along with more of that upbeat Boston punk sound, complete with even more sing-alongs. But what you’ll get with the vinyl edition that you won’t get from the CD edition is songs like “Boy” and the show stopper, “Home”. “Boy” is another acoustic guitar strummin’ folk-y epic that injects a ton of distorted heaviness and maybe even more raw emotion. “Home” is one of those songs that Racer and would categorize as a patriotic song calling for our troops to get home to the families that love them. Perfectly penned in a lyrical fashion and the music conveys the immediacy for action. It’s enough to make the strongest punker get a little weepy. And, my God . . . the chorus is one that will have you standing on your rooftops, leaning out your high rise windows, shaking your fist and singing along!

If I had heard this album back in 2008 when it was originally released, it would have been sitting comfortably at the top of that year’s Best of List. Truth is, it’s probably even better than I think it is. Everybody Out!’s self-titled album is one of those albums that I don’t want to stop listening to. I’ll be cruising around doing my day to day activities and I’ll be thinking about listening to this record. I’ve actually listened to a couple of other records and couldn’t wait for them to end so I could put this one back on. Upbeat, positive, emotionally raw, solid song craft, good story telling . . . all elements that are included in this album, and it downright rocks! This one is highly recommended regardless of what style of music you gravitate towards. This is a genre crosser and it needs to be on your playlist.


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