Thursday February 22nd 2018

“They Came From Boston, Vol.1”


“They Came From Boston, Vol.1”
Stray Bullets, Duck & Cover, The Warning Shots, Blood Stained Bindle


This is an album by a new “super group” formed by four Boston area bands. They are called The Stray Ducks Warning Blood. Oh, no. Strike that- I think they’re called The Bullets That Shot Duck Blood. Or maybe, more accurately, this is four separate bands each contributing three songs for a compilation called “They Came From Boston, Vol.1”

Stray Bullets I know, and I’m pretty sure you know, as probably the most popular and best ska/punk local band and definitely, a band known to play excellent live shows. I’m not a ska fan but I always look forward to seeing them play because their songs and performance are so good.

Duck & Cover is a band that combines punk, glam and classic rock influences into a genre I like to call punk’n’roll. Never too wild, never too tame- they keep what’s good in classic rock and add the grit and passion of punk, arriving at a music that is true, raw and full of integrity.

The Warning Shots is Mark Lind’s, of The Ducky Boys, most current steady project. This is melodic punk mixed with street punk attitude and excellent songwriting, creating music that is tuneful and catchy, but truthful and uncompromising, as well.

And Blood Stained Bindle is a band that I’ve only seen once before, unlike the countless times I’ve seen the other bands. I know they identify strongly with the Oi credo and here they show why with their rousing anthem like music and their working class/political lyrics. Adding up to some terrific, punk music.

Let’s check it out:

The Stray Bullets “Already Dead,” starts quietly with some tremolo surf chords and a stinging guitar lick that could’ve been off a classic seventies hit song. Soon though we’re into ska and skanking in perfect, rhythmic precision- one that explodes into a more disruptive punk rockin’ chorus that concludes with a magnificent lick. This song is exuberant, infectious and full of passion and fun. I’m quite familiar with this song from their live shows and it’s probably my favorite song by them, mainly, because of that awesome lick.

“Liberty Bell” by The Stray Bullets starts out with a ringing guitar lead and a rhythm that sounds like it could’ve been taken from a prime cut Clash punk/reggae tune. It escalates into a boisterous chorus full of emotion and grit, then reverts to the original solid groove of the verse. Another greatly produced, well played, well-written tune.

Duck & Cover’s “Out Alive” comes bursting out at the start with an urgent energy like a dog leaping up when he hears the doorbell ring. A nice, melodic guitar line decorates a sparse verse that is followed by three crashing chords leading us into a blissful, urgent chorus. “Anything you wanna do.” There’s a harmonic guitar lead that is then followed by a vocal breakdown. Soon after, the song kicks in with such a jolt of energy that “Anything you wanna do,” comes not only as a promise but a confident reality. Great song.

The Warning Shots “A Little Bit Longer,” starts out with a kind of exuberance that makes me think at first it’s a cover of a sixties or seventies song. “When the night is at it’s darkest, that’s when you feel the pain it’s sharpest. But just hold on a little bit longer now.” Sustained guitar notes, great harmony vocals and enough spit and spirit to make the melodies shine. Maybe someone more cynical and jaded would reject a song so simply fun and great as this tune. But I don’t think that’s possible, either way.

Did The Dickies or The Lemonheads do a cover of “Eve Of Destruction,” the sixties folk/protest song warning about the end of civilization coming? Maybe not, but The Warning Shots sure do with an added surge of energy and a guitar lick that recalls an eighties synth line. Now that everything seems perfect in our country and around the world, I guess this song has no poignancy to our current state but at least it’s a fun song to cover!

“Red Shield” by Blood Stained Bindle starts with rolling drums and sustained guitar chords much like the beginning of a classic Who tune. what follows is a quick guitar solo that leads us into a exhilarating, punk/Oi tune with a great, melodic guitar lick answered by stop and go rhythms in the chorus. This song has some classic rock guitar leads, a short drums and vocal breakdown, some “wooh-oh-oh’s” backup vocals and lyrics that state, “There’s no free men in today’s society,” to complete an awesome tune.

So here you get four great bands for the price of one that is reviewed by a writer, that the Washington Post commented on- “the musical talent on this record is so great that it makes one even more aware of, the utter lack of talent of the reviewer.”

Well, I think that’s bit harsh if I may so, though possibly true.

But Thrash N Bang is not the answer you’re looking for. We’re like that guy standing harmlessly on the street corner but he seems accustomed to his surroundings. So you feel comfortable going up to him and asking direction and he does know! And he points his finger in the direction while exclaiming where you need to go.

If we can do that- well, that means a lot to me.

So look right here. Here’s four great local bands you should be aware of, you should revel in and possibly, even revere or maybe…Lynn or Swampscott.

Just keep following towards the end of this page.

It’s right over there!


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