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Stringer Searches for "Ghosts" in New York City (premiere)

Photo courtesy of Earshot Media

Gutsy, gutter-y and guttural, New York's Stringer celebrate their hometown's grittier side on "Ghosts".

New York City's evolution from a den of crime and more crime to a bastion of extreme capitalism and parking stalls that cost more than an entire city block in Detroit is, to say the least, remarkable. What remains intact is the unique spirit of the city's dwellers, those rugged, independent, hardened, wise and proudly over the top types ready to espouse the town's virtues and the virtues of its vices. Witness "Ghosts", the new video from Stringer, a band based in the Big Apple that will issue My Bad on July 13 via Wiretap Records.

The tune itself is a quick and dirty blast of attitudinal rock 'n' roll that slides and glides like classic punk and feels like the kind of furious throat punch that only NYC music can deliver. You could call it garage rock but one suspects there are few garages in the heart of the heart of that city and so perhaps alley rock or gutter rock is better nomenclature.

But Stringer manages to elevate the gutter to art. Vocalist Max Kagan says of the punk poems origins, "I was cold, I was wet. My mouth tasted like an ashtray filled with the butts of a thousand cigarettes and yet, on the South Brooklyn waterfront, in an industrial park, I kissed the glorious fish mouth of God and found redemption"

Featuring a cameo from Stringer's close friends in the band the So So Glos, it was shot and directed by Chris Elia, his mind capable of juxtaposing the old, dirty New York with the updated version which may just hide its crumbs and crumbling a little bit better. Elia echoes Kagan's sentiments, adding, ""In the wake of a sustained and soused misadventure, the Stringer crew takes a trip down memory lane and experiences the joys of Chinese food and aromatic hydrocarbons in an industrial park on the South Brooklyn waterfront."

Stringer has earned a reputation on the city's underground circuit becoming a fixture and the defunct underground venue Shea Stadium and having recently been featured in the Rolling Stone documentary DIY in NYC. The band, formed around Kagan and friend Mark Fletcher, is rounded out by drummer Johnny Spencer and bassist Riley Zimmer.

My Bad, produced by Adam Reich (So So Glos, ex-Titus Andronicus) is out digitally on July 13. The vinyl edition may be ordered here.

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