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DS Photo Galley: Street Dogs’ 11th Annual Wreck The Halls w/The New Darkbuster and Jesse Ahern

Much like their punk rock big brothers, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, working class Boston punk band Street Dogs have carried on the tradition of playing annual hometown holiday shows. The 2016 installment of Christmastime Street Dogs gigs, dubbed Wreck The Halls, featured the band playing four consecutive nights at the same venue (Boston’s Brighton Music Hall) for the first time ever. Only the opening acts varied from night to night (Matt Charette and the Truer Sound on night one, The All Out on night two, Jesse Ahern and the Roots Rock Rebel Revue on the penultimate night, and Ascend/Descend for the finale). In another unique twist, all four shows were billed as co-headlining affairs with the newly retooled classic Boston punk band Darkbuster playing full sets before Street Dogs closed each night. And if you’re more than a little familiar with both bands, you’re no doubt aware that this meant Street Dogs guitarist Lenny Lashley and drummer Pete Sosa pulled double-duty, assuming their respective roles as frontman and drummer for The New Darkbuster each night as well.

 

Headlining four shows in the same venue over four consecutive nights may have its benefits in terms of gear set-up/breakdown, etc., but is no doubt arduous for more than a few reasons, particularly when it comes to generating unique setlists that don’t let up in intensity level while giving each night’s respective crowds the feeling that they witnessed something unique. Yours truly was present and accounted for at night three, which featured the Street Dogs set kicked off in traditional “Irish punk” fashion by a pretty rousing and well-received performance by a step dancing troupe from a local dance studio. (Editor’s note: there was a noted connection between the step dancers and founding Street Dog frontman Mike McColgan, but yours truly missed that part.)

Street Dogs proceeded to dive head-first into a headline set that did a pretty decent job of mixing songs from across their catalog. It’s been noted on this site in the past that the more recent additions to the band (Lashley and Matt Pruitt on guitar, Sosa on drums) have reinvigorated the longtime core of McColgan and bassist Johnny Rioux, who had rather famously announced what turned out to be an abridged hiatus a few years ago before announcing the new lineup. Now in their third decades in the punk world (and halfway through their second decade as bandmates), McColgan and Rioux rarely stayed in the same place for very long, jumping around the stage and playing to the crowd with the energy of a band half their ages, yet with the sort of professional stage presence that comes only with having reached ‘crafty veteran’ status.

Pruitt and Lashley ably man their respective sides of the stage, the former doing so with more forceful energy than I’ve seen him play with as a member of Street Dogs at any point. There’s a bit of what seems to be a natural yet unspoken, or even unacknowledged, chemistry between the two guitarists, as they play most parts in lock-tight connection without much in the way of demonstrable interaction at any point in the set. Perhaps that’s all by design, as it gives McColgan and Rioux a chance to roam around the crowded stage that also contained the aforementioned Charette on mandolin and Rioux and McColgan’s FM359 collaborator Hugh Morrison (from deep in the heart of Texas) on accordion on this particular night.

What wasn’t included in the set at least on this night (and, according to reports, on any of the four nights) was brand-new material from the album the band recently finished recording. It’ll mark their first full-length in almost seven years by the time it’s released (and obviously their first full-length with 60% of the present lineup), and given that the material is essentially completed, teasing an obviously accepting hometown crowd with a song or two would have probably made an already vocal and rowdy crowd elevate even more. But perhaps that’s biased, fanboy wishful thinking on my part.

It’s probably no secret to readers of this site (or at least those of you that are still with me through this post) that I’m a rather large fan of Darkbuster in the recent and prior incarnations and am a card-carrying #teamlenny member (some of you will get that). And yes, I get the whole history of the band and where they fit in the Boston punk lexicon and the level of abject chaos that made Darkbuster fahkin’ Dahkbustah, kehd. So as such, it’s virtually impossible to place the new incarnation of the band in the proper context. That said, I acknowledge being among the ranks that in many ways finds “The New” Darkbuster equally to if not more enjoyable than the historical lineups. Sure Lashley is not only the only original member but the only one who can be considered a member of the Boston punk history books (Sosa and guitarist Halston Luna hail from Texas, bass player Ruben Lipkind calls Buffalo, NY, home), but what this lineup lacks in chaotic energy it makes up for in…well…professionalism and genuinely enjoyable fun. It’s genuinely fun to see Lashley doing well and having fun diving back in to the Darkbuster catalog. The set on this night all but avoided most of the band’s most recent release (last year’s No Revolution, though there’s a story there too…), pulling heavily from the more “classic” albums, 1999’s 22 Songs You’ll Never Want To Hear Again and 2005’s A Weakness For Spirits, much to the delight of the sold-out crowd, who were so revved up that they took to singing along to songs that weren’t even being played yet (a not-uncommon event at local Darkbuster shows). Yahtzee!

As stated above, Jesse Ahern and the Roots Rock Rebel Revue provided opening duties on this night. For the uninitiated, Ahern has been performing as a solo folk/punk/Americana troubadour since early this decade and has more recently been playing with the support of a full five-piece backing band. The parallels between street punk and true American folk have been explained other places by people well smarter than this writer, so Ahern’s Springsteenian roots rock sound not only sounds right at home in a punk rock club but was particularly well received by a blue collar, working class, pro-union crowd.

Check out our full photo gallery below!

 



Watch: Street Dogs perform “Johnny Come Lately,” “Anti-XMas” and “Pedestal” to promote Wreck The Halls

We’re getting to the end of the calendar year, so that can only mean one thing…it’s time for the Street Dogs‘ Wreck The Halls celebration. Now in its 11th incarnation, this year’s Wreck The Halls takes place over four nights (December 15th – 18th) at Boston’s Brighton Music Hall, and in a bit of a twist, each night is billed as a co-headlining show with Street Dogs’ guitarist Lenny Lashley’s “other band,” The New Darkbuster.

To help promote the event, Mike McColgan and Lenny Lashley sat in at Boston-based radio station RadioBDC and played three acoustic tracks: “Pedestal,” the Steve Earle cover “Johnny Come Lately,” Lashley’s “Anti-XMas.” Check out the video below. While you’re at it, head here to see where you can pick up some of the limited remaining tickets for the WTH shows (Note: December 17th is sold out).

Street Dogs last released a 10-inch split with Noi!se in April 2014 through Pirates Press Records. They’re putting the finishing touches on their first studio full length since 2010 in the near future; stay tuned!



Noi!se streaming entire new album “The Real Enemy”

Tacoma, WA street punks Noi!se have a new album on the way, and now you can stream the entire new work here.

“The Real Enemy” is the band’s first full-length in more than two years, and is due out October 21st through Pirates Press Records.

You can pre-order it on vinyl here (US) or here (Europe). You can also check out a few planned release shows here.



Noi!se streaming new track, “Passing Time,” off upcoming new album

Tacoma, WA street punks Noi!se have a new album on the way, and now we’re hearing a new song from said album. Listen to “Passing Time” below.

The track comes from the band’s upcoming album, The Real Enemy. The album, the band’s first full-length in more than two years, is due out on October 21st via Pirates Press Records. You can pre-order it on vinyl here (US) or here (Europe). You can also check out the album’s tracklisting below the music, along with a few planned release shows.



Dying Scene Session: Louise Distras – “Aileen”

We know it’s been a while since we last brought you a Dying Scene Session, but believe us when we say it’s been worth the wait!

Today, we’re stoked to bring you another excellent installment, this time featuring none other than British folk/punk singer-songwriter (and personal favorite) Louise Distras. At the end of last week, she released a brand new single, “Aileen.” Head below to check out her exclusive acoustic performance of that very track, filmed on Distras’ recent stop in California.

In case you were unaware, “Aileen” was written as a reaction to a documentary that focused on the case of Aileen Wuornos, the first American female serial killer (also dramatized in the Charlize Theron movie, Monster). You can head here to order the single in physical and digital formats. Distras’ full-length solo debut, Dreams From The Factory Floor, was released back in 2015 on Pirates Press Records in the US.



DS Photo Gallery: The New Darkbuster, The Warning Shots and CJ Ramone, Cambridge, MA

There hasn’t been an awful lot said publicly about the rise and fall and rebirth of the once-mighty Darkbuster, save for a few words here about this time a year ago when the band played what were initially billed as “reunion shows.” A funny thing happened on the way to the reunion, however, and we were left with a completely retooled lineup backing longtime frontman Lenny Lashley. The result was less of a booze-infused potential disaster of a live show and a more of a tight, focused, high energy punk rock battering ram. The retooled lineup (the core of which consists of Halston Luna on guitar, Ruben Lipkind on bass, and Lashley’s Street Dogs bandmate Pete Sosa on drums) played a few shows in the greater New England area last year and spent a month on the road in support of Dropkick Murphys earlier this year.

There is much, much more to be written as to the Darkbuster back story (by me? Maybe?), but as you can see above, we’re now calling the Lashley-led outfit The New Darkbuster (hopefully just temporarily). The band, who will co-headline the Street Dogs annual Wreck The Halls series of shows in Boston in a few months, played a one-off show in Cambridge a little while back, and as is typical whenever a Boston punk rock vet rallies the troops for a hometown show, the night felt like a sort of Punk Rock Olde Home Day. As to be expected, the band ripped through an hour-ish long set that crammed songs from throughout its catalog (including 2015’s ten-years-in-the-making No Revolution), running the sonic spectrum from blistering Oi! and street punk (“Bomb,” “Punk Rock’s Not Dead,” to gritty, horn-infused nouveau-reggae (“Rudy,” a cover of Steve Miller’s “The Joker.” The Good Ship (new) Darkbuster was joined on vocals by another of Lashley’s Street Dogs bandmates, frontman Mike McColgan during “Stand And Deliver,” and “Cheap Wine And Cigarettes,” each of which has a home high up in the pantheon of classic Boston street punk songs.

Direct supprt came from none-other than CJ Ramone (meaning that New Darkbuster drummer Pete Sosa pulled double duty on the evening). Now on the other side of fifty, Ramone still ably demonstrates why he was widely, and rightly, credited with injecting fresh life into the legendary founding punk band from which he adopted his name when he joined them more than a quarter-century ago. Ramone did an enjoyable job of peppering his set of mostly solo tracks from his excellent solo albums Reconqusita and Last Chance To Dance with classic Ramones staples like “Blitzkrieg Bop,” “Judy Is A Punk,” and “Glad To See You Go.” We’ll have more with CJ around the release of his forthcoming third studio album, due out in early 2017 on Fat Wreck.

Local support came from The Warning Shots, the latest and (in my correct opinion) greatest project from Mark Lind (Ducky Boys, Sinners and Saints, a crapload of other bands). The five piece (with Lind on vocals, Rich Crimlisk and Nick Repassy on guitar, the inimitable “DiLo” on bass, and new recruit Luke Mangini on drums) have perfected a sort-of balls-out hybrid of street punk and good, old-fashioned G’N’R-style rock-n-fuckin-roll. In spite of being a new-ish band, the bulk of the outfit has been around in some fashion for a long enough time that they more than hold their own on a stage with local and national punk rock legends.

Check out our photo gallery from the evening below.



New Music: Noi!se – “Dull The Pain” & “Betrayed”

Good news for all of you Noi!se fans out there. As bassist/co-frontman Matt Henson told us in our interview last month, the band has a new album in the can and waiting for your ears. Today, you can listen to two new tracks from that very release.

The songs are called “Dull The Pain” and “Betrayed,” and they were actually released on double A-side format 7-inch earlier today through Pirates Press today. Give them a listen below.

“Dull The Pain” and “Betrayed” will both appear on the band’s upcoming full-length The Real Enemy, due out later this fall (also through Pirates Press).



Noi!se (Street Punk) set to release 7″ on September 2nd in anticipation of fall full length release

Tacoma Washington is a blue collar town, the perfect breading ground for working class street punk. Tacoma mainstays Noi!se have announced a September 2nd release date for their highly anticipated “Double A-side” 7″ entitled, “Dull The Pain”.

In addition to this release, the band will also be putting out a new full length album “The Real Enemy” in the Fall.

Both records will be released on San Fransisco Bay Area’s Pirate’s Press Records.

Check out more information about these releases below.

 



Louise Distras announces new serial-killer themed single “Aileen”

British folk/punk singer-songwriter Louise Distras has just announced a new single set to be released on September 30 titled “Aileen”. Perhaps the most notable fact of this song, is that it is inspired by Aileen Wuornos, America’s first female serial killer. In explaining the subject matter, Distras had this to say:

“One night after a show I watched the Nick Broomfield documentary ‘Selling of a Serial Killer’, which is about ‘America’s first female serial killer’, Aileen Wuornos. As someone who has also experienced homelessness and sexual assault, Aileen’s story hit me pretty hard but left me feeling inspired to share it through my music. The film also left me with my own questions about rape culture and the idea of nature VS nurture, so I decided to make my own DIY film that explores the lyrical content of the single. It’s called ‘Real Outlaw – A Commentary on Rape Culture and the Riot Grrrl Movement’ and it’s available via scanning a QR code that’s printed on the back of the CD and also on tour posters across the UK and mainland Europe.”

Both the single, and a corresponding music video are set to be released on September 30, and will mark her first release since her debut album “Dreams on the Factory Floor”.



Stadium Way releases new self-titled 7″

Acoustic duo Stadium Way have finally released a self-titled 7″ via Pirates Press Records.

“Stadium Way” showcases four heartfelt and honest tracks, highlighted by excellent guitarwork and a brief cameo by Kevin Bivona of The Interrupters on organ. The wax will be available on plain black, white and silver and can be purchased here.

Stadium Way is comprised of Matt Henson and Kenny Dirkes of the Tacoma, WA streetpunk collective NOi!SE.



Music Video: Antagonizers ATL – “Dead to Us”

Atlanta punk act Antagonizers ATL have released a music video for their single “Dead to Us.” The track comes off their new album, Working Class Street Punk. You can watch the video below.

Working Class Street Punk was released on June 6, 2016.



Harrington Saints and Control announce upcoming split, “Pick Your Poison”

California street punks Harrington Saints and UK oi! band Control have announced details of an upcoming split 7-inch. It’s called “Pick Your Poison,” and it features two new tracks from each band (that’s the cover art over at the left).

“Pick Your Poison” is due out this coming Friday (July 15th) via Pirates Press in the States and Randale across the pond. Check out pre-orders here (Europe/UK) — we can’t seem to locate US pre-orders, but we’ll keep you posted.



Louise Distras announces European tour dates

British folk/punk singer-songwriter Louise Distras has announced some European tour dates coming up at the end of the month, with more to be announced soon.  You can find the first string of dates, including a kick-off in Germany with War on Women,  below.

Distras most recently played the U.S. at Punk Rock Bowling, and you can read the recap of that here.  She most recently released the album Dreams From the Factory Floor last year on  Pirates Press Records.



DS Photo Gallery: Bum City Saints and Skin & Bonez celebrate record release show in Oakland with Resilience 6.17.16

Last Friday I headed across the bridge to the Oakland Metro Operahouse for a record release show featuring local punks Bum City Saints and Skin & Bonez. Resilience and Total Chaos were to follow, however due to prior constraints I had to leave after catching a few songs from the Santa Rosa punks.

Unfortunately I missed opening band The Velisha, but made it in time to see Skin & Bonez. The band is interesting to say the least, and has a pretty good following – celebrating the release of their newest album “The Free EP”. Formed in 2011, the band is currently mixing & mastering their third full length CD and once it’s out, there is plans to begin on a fourth.

Bum City Saints was the main reason as I was there, as the guys and I have become good pals over the year, and it’s been great to see them progress as musicians, as I progress as a photographer. For those who go out and purchase the new album, you’ll notice a photo taken by yours truly ;). The band kicked off their set with the debut track “Count Me In” from the new album – the crashing cymbals setting the tone for the set – relentless energy. A majority of the set featured tracks from the new album, but a lot of old favorites like “Into The Fire”, “Ride The Storm”, and more.

Unfortunately I only stuck around for a bit of Resilience’s set afterwards, and had to miss Total Chaos due to prior engagements.

Have a look at photos from the three band’s sets below and thanks to Brian, Jesper, and Travis, and Sara for watching my gear.



Bum City Saints premiere new track “Shake The Ground” off upcoming self-titled album

Last week, San Francisco punks Bum City Saints premiered the second track from their upcoming new self-titled album entitled “Do You Remember”. You can check that song out here.

Today, in anticipation of the release which drops this Friday, the band has given Dying Scene an exclusive stream of a new track titled “Shake The Ground”, which you can check out below.

Additionally, the band put out a music video for their song “Bullets Not Bailouts,” which you can watch here.

Bum City Saints also just launched a new website which features in-depth information about the band, some music from their catalog, photos, show info, and more. Have a look.

The band’s upcoming self-titled album is set to release on June 3rd through Pirates Press Records. It will serve as follow-up to their 2014 EP Ride The Storm, also released through Pirates Press.

The record release show will take place on June 17th at the Oakland Metro Operahouse, alongside punk legends Total Chaos.