Taxi Driver – “Left For Dead”
Taxi Driver, much like my beloved McGunks, is a band that I can’t imagine existing outside the new England area. They epitomize all the best characteristics of street punk/ Oi music and do it well. What are those again, Slimedog? Okay, I’ll spell it out. Passion, grit, compassion, aggression and camaraderie along with gutsy guitars, hardcore beating drums, bellowing shout along vocals, intense lyrics- you get my drift.
I could talk about a little metal influence in the music or maybe a part sounds like Motorhead or even traditional rock here or there, but what is more important is how they express their punk/skinhead credo proudly. They sing about their love for Boston, their bond with their friends, their loyalty and willing to fight for their friends and their love of having a drinking good time.
I can’t listen to this CD without picturing them playing live and seeing a group of people in front of the stage, leaping on each other’s backs, arms around each other, singing along, sometimes into the microphone with beers raised high toward the stage.
So go grab a ‘Gansett and give a listen.
We fight and fall, till the end we’ll stand tall/ Side by side, one for all, in the mud we shall crawl/ Bite down and clench, this pain’s so intense/ It’s our brothers we call, we’re alone in this trench.
“Trench” is the first song I’ve selected. It starts with two notes, a grinding pause and then a battle cry of “Here we go!” as the rhythm section kicks into fifth gear. Then all chaos breaks loose as the growly, passionate vocals roll in with a pesky, mosquito guitar line buzzing around the shout along chorus.
Even though we feel so dark/ There’s always hope in the light/ We’re not alone in the end/ We’ve gotta fight to unite.
“Pride” starts with Kate Smith singing the national anthem then an instigating trebly bass line is met with some slashing guitar chords then they turn on the turbo-jets and a pounding drum beat leads into a verse with “wooh-oh-oh’s” tagging alone for the ride. Probably my favorite song on the CD.
The next tune, “Outlet” starts out with what sounds like a Black Sabbath lick at 100 miles per hour. Then the manic rant barges in with the desperate vocals, pushing rhythm and the crushing guitars.
There is so much, so many around but none relate/ Sometimes I wish it would end, but in this pit I find my friends/ This is our outlet
I think this song may be about society looking down or laughing at the whole punk scene, thinking its crazy, absurd. But I feel this is the perfect reaction to this crazy, absurd world they’ve created that we have to live in.
Punx or skinheads, you know we don’t give a damn/ ‘cuz all that matters in the end is that we call each other friends.
‘Cuz we’re drunk in public/ stumbling down the street/ drunk in public/ ‘cuz Boston can’t be beat/ drunk in public/ you know who we all are/ ‘cuz we’re drunk in public/ thanx to good old PBR
I could talk more about the music and believe me, its good- but what most impresses me with this band and its fans is their sense of community and friendship and pride. They believe in the music, they believe in their friends, they believe in their town and I believe in them.