So, “Boozehounds”: I’m assuming that the four bands featured on this neat little seven-inch circle of vinyl have not only a love of melodic punk rock but also of a variety of types of alcohol. As many of us know, alcohol fuels many a decent punk rock show both from the perspective of those performing and those watching, so it’s easy to see this pairing as suitable bedfellows in terms of project and title!
What we have here is each band offering up one song to this package, starting off with the U.K.’s Calvinball. These four men know how to crack out a gritty punk rock song, complete with throaty shouts over a rough and ready sound, which gets this single off to a grand start with “If You’re Buying." The one thing that strikes me is that this track is over four minutes long and the band really knows how to fill in every second to make this an interesting listen as opposed to dragging it out to its death.
Next up, from Tempe, Ariz., is Rumspringer, and these three guys deliver “Killer Boots, Man” in a way which makes me want to just listen to the band all day long. It’s taken me a while to fully appreciate Rumspringer but I’m glad I persevered as it is not just another average band. The guitar intro on this track reminds me of the later Dag Nasty sound from Four on the Floor and overall this is the "cleanest" sounding band to be found on Boozehounds--good stuff indeed.
Mayflower, from Syracuse, N.Y., was the only band I’d not previously heard of prior to this release and I have to say that despite my affection for the Dauntless Elite, these guys provide me with the highlight of this release with “Open Container,” a song that kicks in with more great sounding guitar and never lets up in its relentless pursuit to keep my feet tapping and head nodding. What this one track has done is identify my need to track down the band’s debut album that came out on Kiss of Death Records (a task now achieved).
The aforementioned Elite are the last up here and, as always, it’s good to hear these Yorkshiremen hammering out their trademark sound, which for the uninitiated is no frills melodic punk rock with gruff and throaty, yet distinctive, vocals. “Primark Princess” (Just for some general information, Primark is a fairly low cost retailer of male and female “fashion” here in Europe) is a solid effort with a great middle eight to boot and this track should lead people to check out last year’s album More Bloody Bad News if they want to hear more of this band.
Once again, this single goes to prove that the U.K. and the U.S.A. have much in common, but also that when it comes to punk rock there are slight differences too which makes releases like this one so enjoyable. Here it’s the U.K. that has got the rougher attitude musically whilst the Americans have taken a cleaner sounding route (or “rowt”!) with their songs. However, all featured tracks are fine representations of the bands involved and if you don’t know any of these bands then this would be a fine place to start. If you know them already then these are all new songs so you also need to get your wallets out now.
Finally, I’d like to say that the cover art amused me more than it should do given my advanced years but I see that as a sign that my mind is still young and fresh even if my body is far from being that way!