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Booze & Glory

As Bold as Brass

(Sailor's Grave; US: 11 Mar 2014; UK: 10 Feb 2014)

No surprises here, folks

So okay, pub rock can be fun. With its shout-along choruses, hummable melodies and short, snappy songs, this British precursor of punk can be rollicking good time when downing a pint or six. Skinheads Booze & Glory are certainly true believers, and their latest full-length As Bold As Brass incorporates all those elements, and not much else, into its twelve tracks. Guitar solos – or any other kind – are few and far between, but there are plenty of declarations of brotherhood and self-reliance, mainly of the “fuck you, piss off” variety. Opener “Off We Go!” sets the pattern and there’s not a great deal of variation to the uptempo chest-thumping, built as it is on forward-charging guitar riffs and bolstered with a rhythm section that enjoys hitting things very hard with sticks. There is some variety: “Waiting for Tomorrow” strikes an introspective note about growing up in a rough neighborhood, “Sick of You” is a sweet kissoff to Maggie Thatcher, while “Julie” is the mandatory cautionary tale about a girl who’ll you do wrong, mate. It’s not very interesting, but it probably sounds great when you’re drowning in Newcastle Brown Ale.

Rating:

DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


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