Sunday December 17th 2017

The New Frustrations – “Dee Bacle”


The New Frustrations – “Dee Bacle”


The New Frustrations are a band that I recently became aware of, seeing them play a couple of great, live sets. And I like their music but I’m not quite sure they live up to their name.

Because I don’t think this is so much “new” music as this is music that draws heavily on the past of melodic punk and garage punk’n’roll.

But I think that’s fine. The history of music in the world shows that music, in every country, wouldn’t change for a century or so. Somehow in the new world where music became a physical “product” then, like a new car, things had to change every year, for reasons more economically than artistically.

Though I can appreciate bands doing new styles like grindcore, d-beat, power violence- I can also, appreciate bands that are being influenced by older styles and taking that style and putting their own individual take on it.

So I really like traditional, melodic punk band and Oi bands, too- as long as it rings sincere and true to me.

And what The New Frustrations capture, so well, is the sounds of the eighties new wave/punk. Some of the bands they mention fit into the heart of their sounds like The Jam, The Undertones, The Buzzcocks and especially, The Plimsouls. But more importantly, Boston punk bands like The Real Kids and The Outlets, as well.

Anyway you slice or dice it, summarize or subsidize it, as Billy Joel once said as he crashed his car into the barrier on a highway- “It’s still rockin’ punk to me.”

Let’s slip it in and listen:

“Radio Generation” starts with some modest guitar plucking, energetic rhythms and smashing power chords. It has that classic eighties sound with lyrics lamenting the demise of a beloved DJ. This song may be too smooth and tuneful for those seeking cutting edge hardcore/metal sounds, but for me this is a honest, well-crafted, heartfelt song. “Radio was the special place that I could always hide. And I never thought I’d live to see the day the music died.” This songs has bouncy, happy music matched with disheartened, bitter lyrics. “I change the stations, and I turn the dial. For a glimmer of hope, I’m at the end of my rope.” With so may options now, it may be hard to imagine, but the closing of a club or a music station then had dire effects at the time. And this song has a lot of magic and passion, from that time, that more than deserves to live on.

“Right As Rain,” starts out with the line. “Well, you found me out, I guess I didn’t fool you. You’re like the FBI. You got it running through you.” This is another melodic, more mid-tempo number that sports a glorious, melodic chorus of “You’re right as rain.” This song reminds me of The Replacements and does that comparison justice with such a great tune with and a smashing guitar solo to boot. “I’m searching for a needle in the hay, I’m never gonna find, that’s okay.” Because why search when you have such a perfectly constructed melodic punk tune. And I wish that what I write could be as good as this song.

“Not Anymore,” has a more snarling, garage edge to it recalling many sixties garage rock bands backed by four chords that were the first to be referred to as “punk,” back in the sixties. “Your words they cut me while my heart skids across the floor. Then you expect me to thank you and come crawling back for more.” Though, when my dominatrix puts me in this position, I find myself only begging for more. When hit musically, so rockin’, I still end up pleading, because it’s so good- I can’t stand it!- “Not anymore!” Aw, hell, I can take it. If you give me songs, that snap like a rattlesnake or my dom’s whip, as good as this to listen to.

“Too Scared To Kiss You,” I remember from the live show, reviewed on-line now, as I recognize the chorus of, “And then I stop and think, we ain’t seventeen.” This is another breezy, melodic song from The Replacements playbook combined with a great, chiming like guitar lead. “You know I’ve wasted so much time, just trying to make you mine. And I’m starting to believe, we’ve got nothing left to hide and there’s nothing up our sleeve.” Maybe just another song about unrequited love but there’s no let down or regret hearing a song like this that is so fucking perfect.

I saw this band, recently at The Grommets annual JP Porchfest which goes on every July, just a few blocks away from The Midway. It’s one of the best and most fun shows I see all year.

And disregarding the beheadings, the vile debauchery and the unkempt farm animals- it’s really just a family cookout, punk band, jack in a box popping out of the shed/garage, while random folks walk up the driveway to become engrossed in a BBQ/punk/family event.

The review of this show is on TNB elsewhere, but when this band played everyone was so complimentary, especially other musicians, towards this band set that day to me.

They played a lot of covers that day, probably because of the different environment. But I could tell from their selections, how rooted they were in Boston punk, and along with their originals, that this band, also, had a story of their own to tell. Songs that keep the feel and emotions, the guts and passions of the original styles- that may not be new, now- but are still as real and potent as true as the songs and bands that have inspired them. Here is a new band to inspire others to believe they can do it, too.

But what do I know?

I’m just an old, drunk punk who will write or talk your ear off, given half a chance.

But listen to this band and I promise you, you’ll get no more chatter but an awesome platter.

And you won’t be frustrated, not if you want punk from the old school, you’ll get the real thing, dropped right into your lap.

‘Cause this band puts out.


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