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BOOZE & GLORY
Punk rock may not be rocket science, but it’s only the smartest and sharpest bands that make the grade and stay the course.
Formed in London in 2009, Booze & Glory started life as a straight-ahead salute to the rowdy street punk and Oi! bands of the late ‘70s and ‘80s UK scene. Thanks to some of the most infectious songwriting to emerge from the capital’s mean streets for a long time, and with a heroic and ruthless dedication to playing live, the band were steadily embraced by a colossal international fan base, with debut video London Skinhead Crew notching up in excess of 7 000 000 views on YouTube along the way. Triumphant trips to Asia, South America, the US and pretty much anywhere that would have them ensured that Booze & Glory’s first three albums – Always On The Wrong Side (2010), Trouble Free (2011) and As Bold As Brass (2014) – became essential listening for fans of balls-out and snotty rock’n’roll.
But far from resting on their laurels and sticking to a tried-and-tested formula, Booze & Glory are now poised to reveal the subtle but unmistakable evolution that their music and aesthetic have undergone in recent times. Eager to shed the sometimes unfortunate political connotations that come with being a no-nonsense street punk band, the four-piece have come of age on album number four, the appropriately-titled Chapter IV. Always an international band, with past and present members hailing from Poland, Ireland, England, Sweden and Greece and the current line-up all possessing migrant blood.
Instead, the rampaging, lethally melodic anthems contained on Chapter IV are an exhilarating exercise in positive thinking, the power of the people and the importance of seizing the day and living life like there’s no tomorrow (which, given recent events, may well turn out to be the case!). With shades of everything from One Way System and Stiff Little Fingers to the Dropkick Murphys and Rancid, Booze & Glory’s all-encompassing punk rock sound is a loud, proud and big-hearted antidote to fake plastic pop stars and off-the-shelf punk posers. With songs touching upon everything from the joys of unity to singer/guitarist Mark’s recent battle with cancer, all human life is present and correct, with every last track sounding like a custom-built anthem for the masses. There is evidence of instinctive musical growth here too, as showcased on folk-fueled opener Days, Months, Years and the riotous, soulful clatter of Violence & Fear: songs with plenty to say and no shortage of fresh ways to say it.
Newly signed to legendary Swedish imprint Burning Heart, Booze & Glory are set to claim 2017 as their own. With plans to play over 150 shows over the next 12 months, including a full month in the US and festival appearances across Europe, the boys’ mission to spread the ageless joy and fury of pure punk rock looks certain to continue long into the future. With a record as strong as Chapter IV behind them, the B&G crew have nothing but glory on the horizon. Up the punx!
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