Album Review: The Barstool Preachers “Grazie Governo”

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Grazie Governo is the sophomore full length from Brighton, UK’s The Barstool Preachers, who are known for their ska influenced street punk with a strong dedication to social justice.

This a a fantastic street punk album with a heavy UK ska influence. It features angry protest songs like the title track “Grazie Governo”, the stand out “DLTDHYOTWO” and reggae punk toe tapper “Cry Wolf.” Then there is the rock and roll ode to love in “8.6 days (All the broken hearts)” which explores people overcoming their own faults and allowing themselves to be loved. The heart wrenching line of “I love you, I don’t get it because I don’t know what you ever saw in me darling” just sums up the whole experience. This type of disjointed love is further explored in “Choose my Friends” which features Amiee Interrupter, which is very fitting because sonically it would easily fit on any one of the Interrupters albums or perhaps a Rancid B-side.

In the song “Drink” we get an upbeat pop-punk sound that belies the darkness of using alcohol to numb the failings in our lives. While “Drive” gives us a Sublime-esque look into the inner monologue of depression. It’s like these two songs where deliberately written as a cause and effect. The happiness of having a few drinks mixed with the dive into drunken self examination.

There is an underlying unrest which borders on depression and anger in most of the songs on this album. However it does not give up all hope as the very last track “High Horse” is an upbeat pop-ska chill, with the beautiful sounds of a happy piano filling the the background. It’s a reminder that paradise is not lost, at least not yet.

This album delivers so much in such a short period. There is enough anger and disillusionment to satisfy fans of old school punk, there’s enough upstrokes and piano/organ accompaniment to keep the ska fans happy, and it is catchy enough to keep everyone coming back for more.

4/5 Stars


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