GUNS OF BRIGHTON
A Selfish Call to Arms
Guns of Brighton might be the band to take on the mantle of Boston’s hometown, punk rock heroes—a tradition started by the Mighty Mighty Bosstones in the ’80s and continued by the Dropkick Murphys through the ’90s, and into this millennium. G.o.B plays the working-class punk originated by The Clash and reimagined by the likes of Rancid and Green Day with workman-like skill and a sprinkle of modernity.
For a short, eight-song album, A Selfish Call to Arms flows amazingly well. The “Call to Arms” intro and reprise that bookend the record is a nice touch that ties the whole thing together. The rat-a-tat snare drumming that introduces the closing track, “Umbrella of Hypocrisy,” helps to wind things down on a mournful military note.
G.o.B. take on ska-core as well. “Rude Boy Warning,” pops a Madness-esque rhythm but takes a marked ’50s turn—sounding suspiciously like something from Grease. Maybe an alternate take on “Greased Lightning?”
The cynic in me might sneer at the transparent bid for the hearts of Boston’s punk community that is “Heroes of the Past.” Tugging at union pride and name dropping the Kennedy family might make me gag if it weren’t also so damn endearing. When I was a kid, iron workers and Bruins fans were more likely to kick the shit out of the punkers than join them in the mosh pit. Nearly 30 years after punk broke in Boston, I guess it’s nice to see the day that punk rock can be the soundtrack for the city.
Move over Dropkick Murphys—here come the Guns of Brighton! (George Dow)