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Darkbuster - A Weakness for Spirits [reissue] (Cover Artwork)

Darkbuster

Darkbuster: A Weakness for Spirits [reissue]A Weakness for Spirits [reissue] (2006)
I Scream Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: GlassPipeMurderGlassPipeMurder
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Fun, catchy Boston drunk rock: check. Guest appearances by Dicky Barrett, Ken Casey, and Glen Pine: check. Confusing lyrical themes: check.

Darkbusters's A Weakness for Spirits is one of the most perplexing punk albums I??ve heard in a while. Now, I'm not so naïve to believe that Darkbuster writes all their lyrics to be genuine portrayals of their beliefs, having written songs like the satirical "Join the N.R.A." and "I Hate the Unseen." But with "Stand and Deliver," the second track of the album -- an entire song devoted to honoring the U.S. military -- needless to say it is surprising given the lyrics: "They're the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines / They sacrifice their lives for our country / Stand and deliver! Stand and fight! / Or the Devil takes our ever-lovin' soul tonight / Early in the morning / In the darkest night / They protect our freedom / They protect our rights." Yes, I know Strung Out wrote a song called "Support Your Troops," but it's pretty clear the undertones in that song were quite different. "Skinhead" is another song that might make more P.C. listeners wince, as it presents the skinhead as an average working class citizen like the rest of us. Again, I'm fully aware that skinheads started out against racism, but with the spread of Aryan Youth supremacy groups, the skinhead has become something much different. Adding to this is the song "Grandma Was a Nazi" with the lyrics "If Grandma was a Nazi, it wouldn't make a fuck to me," a stark contrast to the "Fuck Nazi Sympathy" idea of Aus-Rotten in the mid-`90s. Given this brief overview of the more puzzling lyrics of A Weakness for Spirits I want to make it absolutely clear that this does not mean Darkbuster should be considered racist, right-wing nazis. I believe quite the opposite is actually true, which is just what makes their lyrical themes so baffling.

As it were, the most impressive part of this album is the music, and what great music it is. Most of the album is fast-paced punk rock in the same vein as the Street Dogs, the Ducky Boys, or early Dropkick Murphys. Many have goofy, entertaining lyrics such as "Cantaloupes," which touches on the subject of swollen testicles, and "Gurley's Cell Phone Number," the "867-5309 (Jenny)" of punk rock. The two ska songs on A Weakness for Spirits -- "Rudy" and "DJ" -- are both utterly fantastic, the second of which pays tribute to the work of Joe Strummer and the Clash. The more serious tracks like "Shoulda Known Better" and "Give Up Dope" demonstrate that the band is not all about comedy and satire, but does so without ruining the flow of the album.

All in all, A Weakness for Spirits is a great album, capable of winning over even the moderate punk listener with the delightful sounds of their carefree brand of Boston street punk. Some of the lyrics might throw listeners for a loop initially, but I have no doubt that Darkbuster will be able to keep representing working class punk rock from Boston to Los Angeles for many years to come.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
HometownLoser (October 24, 2010)

A good album. Personally I prefer 22 songs.... but it is still fun.

dreadpiratered (May 19, 2009)

This is one of those bands, that much like avail, i thought would have been touring non stop and selling an ass load of records and never quit. i dont know why they never really get outta boston but its a shame to the rest of the country they dont. This alblum is great.

boston_punk (December 12, 2007)

Having seen them live, I don't think "Stand and Deliver" is sarcastic at all. At one show I went to they gave anyone with a military ID "one free anything" from the merch table and telling the crowd to thank them.

Just like Street Dogs, you can be anti-war but pro soldier.

OnTheAttack (March 19, 2007)

I don't see why anyone is confused about any of the lyrics. Why you even singled out "Skinhead" is beyond me.

Scruffy (March 19, 2007)

The line about his grandma reminds me of the hubbub about Obama's great-great-great-great-whatever owning slaves. I think the point is that you are not your family. If your grandmother was a racist, it doesn't affect who YOU are any more than if your neighbor was one (i.e. only as much as you let it).
The line comes across less about racism and more about individuality and being who you are, not what anyone might want you to be.

I could be wrong. I only know the line from this review and not in context.

Anonymous (March 19, 2007)

Well, we knew our Grandma didn't care for jewish people and she had no idea why, not by will but by force. We just didn't know she had a picture of hitler on her wall in her wedding photo. We found out at her wake in 2004. Lenny is as far from a racist as they come, hence the color of his skin and head.
Little Asshole

GlassPipeMurder (March 19, 2007)

obviously you thought wrong, maybe if you would have checked the comments before posting.

Anonymous (March 19, 2007)

I find it really weird that there was any focus on racism in this review. Actually, it was a really dumb thing to bring up I doubt anyone would think Darkbuster was racist.

Anonymous (March 18, 2007)

because its 2004 and Grandma AINT A NAZI ANYMORE

Anonymous (March 17, 2007)

darkbuster is great and lenny and the piss poor boys is awesome too.

TimRetcon (March 16, 2007)

Are you really that surprised that someone wrote a pro-troop song?

ConsolationPrizefighter (March 16, 2007)

Wasn't this released only like two years ago? This album has its moments but I liked 22 Songs... better.

holy_hack_Ben (March 16, 2007)

I actually just picked this up a few weeks ago. Good album, good band.

feeeding5000 (March 16, 2007)

This sounds really, really stupid. And skinheads may not be all racist, but they all are mindless patriotic dumbfucks. If I must generalize. I think that I'll pass, considering the guitar on the cover has Rancid and Social Distortion stickers on it. Not a fan of faux-street punk.

JaredK (March 16, 2007)

Living in Boston and having seen them about 20 times over the years I'm glad someone reviewed their CD and liked it. However any overtures about them even possibly being racist are ridiculous. If you like this check out their first cd "22 songs you'll never want to hear again"...I think it is a little better then this one. Definitely catch them live if you get the chance.

Anonymous (March 16, 2007)

That song Skinhead is cringe-inducingly embarassing and awful. Probably the worst song ever written with skinhead in the title. Good live band though.

Anonymous (March 16, 2007)

Reviewing the re-issue of THIS? Shiiiiit.

Anonymous (March 16, 2007)

I think he is trying to convey his grandma was a nazi and he isn't proud of it but it is family and you can't really go back on family.

GlassPipeMurder (March 16, 2007)

I agree, which is why I gave the caveat: "I want to make it absolutely clear that this does not mean Darkbuster should be considered racist, right-wing nazis. I believe quite the opposite is actually true"

sXenester (March 16, 2007)

i'm taking issue with your review. Yeah, Lenny's grandma may have been a nazi, but that doesn't mean he is. I feel that's what he's trying to get across.

And, your view of skinheads kinda goes along with the mainstream perception. There are skins that aren't racist, still, the media just has an overly negative portrayal of them. Remember the DKM song "Never Alone"?

Anonymous (March 16, 2007)

What I love about Darkbuster is that most songs are AWESOME, but some songs are SOOO LAME, yet still wicked fun singalongs and dance tunes at shows. When a band can make people like even their bad songs.... thats a good band.

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