Monday, July 16, 2012

Punk Me? Punk You! featuring Revillers, Pipes and Pints, Sir Reg, and Strawberry Blondes

Revillers - S/T

That's what I'm talking about!  Pure, old school UK-sounding punk, taking it's cue from those it should; Sex Pistols, Clash, Sub-humans, with the fury of Oi! and some good 'ol Boston work ethic.  This is the punk that's been charging me recently.  Anthemic, fiery, pissed-as-hell, and fused with chugging guitar riffs, fist-in-the-air singalong chorus, and an actually melody. 

Coming from Boston, where street punk is the city pastime, Revillers do it all right.  "No Bullshit Reactor" is the perfect combination of meth-crazed speed, vitriol, and gangland chants.  Forget whatever feelgood song the corporations try to push down our throats as the song of the summer, this should be the anthem of the season of our discontent.  From there, the album is a blur of flying fist, elbows and dislocated joints.  "Revision" pummels with pure punk fury and abandon.  "Fifth Column" will get the pit into a foam-mouthed frenzy.  "1860" is timeless punk that demands a black leather fist pump to the chanted chorus.

No emo crap here.  No pretense at being pop.  Bet the guys never saw a bottle of mascara in their lives.  Just brilliantly played, heart-felt Boston punk.  God bless em.

 On Patac Records, who are having a 10% off Summer of Scum sale right now.  Go there.

Pipes and Pints - Until We Die

God, nothing sounds better in a good punk record than the screaming wail of bagpipes.  Just something about the blend of heart-splitting guitar abandon, guttural vocal spewing, and bagpipes.  They just lend that touch of mournful indignation to the resistance and rebellious nature of punk.   I've been digging on a lot of Celtic punk recently -- even devoted a whole radio show set to some of the better stuff that's come into the Ripple.  Now I got another.  Pipes and Pints.

As the name suggests, this album goes down better with a flagon of ale, a crew of rowdy mates, some buxom barmaids, and a tavern that doesn't mind being doused in suds and torn up from the floorboards by the mosh pit.  The real mindfuck here is that the boys aren't from Ireland or Scotland.  Not even from Boston.  They hail from Prague, Czech Republic, but you'd never know it from Until We Die.  This is revolutionary Celtic punk ready to stand up with the best of em.

Guitars chug.  Drums flatten.  Bass compresses.  Vocals spit.  And the bagpipes, those glorious bagpipes.  They soar, man. They really soar.

Each song is a frenetic assault of spit-in-your eye rebel punk, elevated to a higher level by the pipes. On Unrepentent Records.  If Celtic punk is your thing, check this out without hesitation.

Sir Reg - A Sign of the Times

Speaking of Celtic Punk . . .

Speaking of Celtic Punk coming from someplace you'd never expect. . . .

Allow me to introduce you to Sir Reg, wailing Celtic punksters from that capital of Celtic music. . . Sweden.  Yep, Celtic punk is truly universal.

No bagpipes here, instead we got a fiddle adding that touch of class to the proceeding, and well done.  Sir Reg play things with a bit less fury than Pipes and Pints, with a bit more of a folk touch, but still fit squarely into a league with The Pogues, The Men They Couldn't Hang, the Dubliners, or Boston's own, The Dropkick Murphys.

Misplaced Dubliner Brenden Sheehy leads Sir Reg, so we got an Irishman singing while backed by a crack crew of Sweden's finest blitzing out the raucous noise.  "A Sign of the Times," is about as rousing an opener as you'd want to find.  Chugging along folk punk sure to get the punters cheering along.  "Dying to Rebel" ups the ante a bit, with some killer fiddle work and some stop start chant-alongs.

Just good fun stuff all the way through.

On Heptown Records.

Strawberry Blondes - Rise Up


If I'd never heard of a little band called The Clash, I'd think Rise up by U.K. punkers, Strawberry Blondes, was just about the cat's meow.  Rousing choruses, big guitars, rebellion in lyric.  It's all there.  Add to that some good harmony vocals and the album really kicks.

The problem is, I have heard of The Clash, and while Strawberry Blondes do a good job of trying to rise above their influences, it all just sounds so familiar.  I mean familiar, as in Clash debut album part II.  They claim Rancid as another influence.  But really, Rancid were just a fancy Clash cover band, weren't they?  So, if The Clash were the only band that mattered, what do you do with a Clash tribute band?

Again, there's nothing bad here.   I like it all.  Start to finish, it's a good album, but it just hangs so thick with the Clash influence that I have no idea what the guys sound like on their own.

So, if I'm not a fan, why include it here in the Ripple, you may ask.  Because, the guys got talent and they're really good at what they do.  Each song has adrenaline and melody and chops.  I'm hoping that they'll step away from the shadow of the Clash and show us what they can really do.  And if they do, toss in a few other influences--stretch themselves-- I bet they got a killer album in them.

We'll see.


Pipes and Pints

Sir Reg

Strawberry Blondes

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