Monday July 24th 2017

The McGunks / Pint Killers / The Martians / Taxi Driver


Punk Potpourri Part One
The McGunks / Pint Killers / The Martians / Taxi Driver
Midway Cafe, Jamaica Plain, MA          6/17/17


I’m talking with Danny. He’s the lead singer of Taxi Driver, the first band that’s gonna play tonight. He’s probably the biggest guy in any band we cover. I’ve referred to him before as “the white Vince Wilfork.”

“You know, I didn’t realize, till after quite awhile that The Martians song “Danny Sucks” was about you.” I tell him. I also tell him that’s my favorite song by them. And that during the last TNB Xmas Party how honored I was that they changed the song to “Slimedog Sucks,” just for that occasion.

I also mention to Dylan, one of the Midway excellent soundmen, that was pretty gutsy of The Martians writing a song with that title about a guy whose arms are about as big as my legs. But we both agree that big guys like that are usually mellow fellows. Just don’t expect me to write anything bad about anyone near that size, anytime soon.

Now, Taxi Driver is up first, a band that started about six years ago. Around the same time as OC45 did and TNB, as well. They don’t play out, very often, but today they are barreling- mighty powerfully through their set that consists of a mix of heavy hardcore with thrash metal.

With Danny’s gruff, hardcore/death vocals (that are very good, please take note!) and the propulsive energy of the dual guitar attack of the band they play some loud, intense, bone rattling music.

And in the crowd I see Jackie and Janelle, who I don’t recognize at first as it’s been quite awhile since I’ve seen them, but always happy when I do.

Besides the few songs I recognize, I believe there’s quite a few new ones played in their great, opening set. Which makes me hope there might be some new Taxi Driver material on the horizon? I await with betted breathe.

The Martians, of course, live on another planet but surprisingly play a music that it much like the melodic punk played here on Earth. And not only does their bassist/singer, Tyler Steven, write some of the best songs in our solar system but the band knows how to play them with the energy, grit and passion they so richly deserve and need. And today they seem poised to decimate our ears and hearts with their other worldly punk tunes of heartache.

They start off with a medley of “Tonight I’m Gonna Strangle You” into “We’re Not Alone,” the later reflecting their hypothesis that there is life on other planets, besides Mars and Earth; of course. And play some new songs off the soon to be coming new album- “I Hate Your Guts” and “My Girlfriend Is A Headbanger,” sound like two great ones to me.

And though they do not play “Danny Sucks,” though Danny does get to sing the bridge on one song, they do end with another favorite that they rarely play now- their straight-edge anthem, “I Don’t Wanna Party,” ending a wonderful set.

Like The Martians were my favorite new band of last year, this next band, Pint Killer seem destined to fill that position this year for me.

It’s Mark Doherty’s new band and I think, this will be known as his best ever. With the words and melody contributed by Mark and the music written by guitarist, Bill Jolliemore and add an excellent rhythm section, then you have a recipe for some really, great music.

Their style is an amalgam of traditional punk, street punk, hardcore and melodic punk with a touch of Celtic punk, thrown in there, too.

They kick off their set with two of their best songs, “Raise A Glass,” and “Lights Out,” from their demo. But play a lot of new tunes, that might be called “Friends,” and “I Really Hate To See You Go.” And they end with a terrific cover of “Skinhead” by Darkbuster (or as Bostonians say, Duck-baw-stuh.)

And I tell them after the set, how much I’m really looking forward to their first album, which should be ready by the end of the summer.

The McGunks have been around a while playing their perfection of the punk’n’roll style. Our country was built on certain truths that are self-evident. One, they forgot to include, was never follow The McGunks on a bill. Reason being, they kick so much ass-live, you really don’t want to play after them. And today the bands have seemed to have taken the most reasonable course.

They do a song called, “Better Off Dead,” that is tremendous, but not the La Peste classic. They play the great tune, “Maybe Tomorrow,” after Tyler Steven buys and brings, three shots to the stage.

They do a rockin’, rousin’, rambunctious set that ends with a cover of “Shout” by The Isley Brothers and “Pretty Fucked Up,” (“She used to be pretty, but now she’s pretty fucked up,”) by the Supersuckers. “Now I know people change and sometimes that’s good. And some people don’t and maybe they should. But right now that don’t help me. I might throw up. ‘Cause if sure does feel shitty. When things just get pretty fucked up.”

A fine ending to a fine afternoon.

I’m so glad I taxied myself here for this out-of-this world killer lineup, topped off with a stellar performance by The McGunks.

But now I’m headed to O’Brien’s in Allston for another great four band punk lineup.

Stay tuned for Part Two, coming soon to a website near you.


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