For a bunch of thoroughly battle-hardened lads from bands like Martyr Defiled, Dinosaur Pile-up, Leftover Crack and Castrovalva, their new incarnation Brawlers is surprisingly upbeat. That being said it still rocks like a bastard.
This myriad of different musical backgrounds is certainly no bad thing. There’s a dirtiness to the bass and some of the chord structures that are coming straight out of the 90’s grunge scene, an American twang on the vocals and harmonies that – intentionally or not – harks back to the sultry lo-fi punk of The Smoking Popes and Duvall, some of Alkaline Trio’s biggest influences. Elsewhere there are flecks of Hot Hot Heat, The Distillers, Weezer, Minor Threat – the list goes on.
Brawlers are a beautiful melting pot of punk rock from the last 30 years that shines brightest on tracks like ‘Heart Attack’ and ‘Instagram Famous’ – both of which reminded us of a time when we weren’t so old, music was good and bands like Rival Schools, The Icarus Line and Rocket From The Crypt were killing it large.
If you’re expecting a hardcore band, this ain’t gonna do it for you. If you like some melody, a bit of groove, some emotion, some intelligent thinking, you might be in for a very pleasant surprise. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this is earthy, real punk rock with substance and something to say. We urge you to listen to this record. We urge your children to listen to this record. We urge your children’s children to listen to this fucking record.
Venue: I Am A Worthless Piece Of Shit
Support Band: Alcopop Records