Harrington Saints – [Album]

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Listening to Harrington Saints' new album serves an excellent remainder of how blanched and watered down boot boy street punk has become over he last ten years. Bands like Rancid, Dropkick Murphys and Street Dogs all used to have some punch in their music – a little fight, a little outsider aggression and a little skinhead swing in their streetwise sloganeering – but they've gotten a little soft, pudgy and comfortable over time and have lost some of their stuff. That's unfortunate, but happily Harrington Saints are hungry, ready to take up the mantle, have the will to take on all comers and are set to rejuvenate some old sounds. The band's new album (their second full-length, but te band has released a directory of singles, seven-inches and splits too), Pride & Tradition is defined by the obvious pride that they take in the history of the music they're making as well as the traditions they're upholding with the themes addressed (the love of the street, living on the street, the safety and happiness which can be found with friends and the roughneck shenanigans which come along with a healthy love of punk rock) and it's a fun form of escapism but, even better, those who grew up listening to punk rock of a similar sort will feel their chests start to swell with the familiarity and power of it; it's good to know stuff like that which Harrington Saints are presenting here hasn't been buried over time.

Everything great about street punk comes rushing back spontaneously from the moment  “OCD” thunders to life with drums blazing and guitars swinging. Singer Darrel Wojick spits and snarls in the finest traditions of punks like Lars Frederiksen, Roger Miret and Micky Fitz while guitarists Mike C and Jayson Shepard break land speed records for street punk changes and the rhythm section of bassist Mike Miller and drummer Forrest Maestretti swing their weight at every turn. The noxious amalgam is pure, potent and guaranteed to drive the adrenaline levels in those who hear it up but, happily, the band doesn't lay up after that first song runs out; after “OCD,” Pride & Tradition offers ten more tracks or the same sort of roughhousing.

While every song after “OCD” sounds pretty similar to it and nothing about Pride & Tradition every really shifts gears or changes it up, listeners aren't exactly in danger of getting bored as the record plays through either. With the longest song on the album clocking in at about three minutes and the average being two and a half or less, Pride & Tradition flies through and keeps its energy at peak levels at all times. The rush of songs like “The Kids Want More,” “Saturdays In The Sun,” “Jenny Was A Skin,” “Crime Pays” and “Slogans On The Wall” is great and, because they're not quite Oi and don't wear their skinhead trappings quite like white supremacists, all of the music is open enough that punks of all stripes will be able to check it out and not scoff for one reason or another. As rough-and-tumble as Harrington Saints are, Pride & Tradition is a very, very easy record to like.



Pride & Tradition
is out now. Buy it here on Amazon .

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