45 Adapters - Now or Never [EP] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

45 Adapters

Now or Never [EP] (2021)

Pirate's Press records

For well over a decade now, 45 Adapters have been bouncing around Brooklyn with their infectious, danceable blend of punk, ska, oi, R&B, and good old fashioned rock and roll. Think maybe Swingin’ Utters or Booze & Glory for comparison. While they’ve only managed one proper full length in that time, they’ve been pretty consistent in their output. Now Or Never is the band’s 5th EP, and there’s also a split 7-inch with Stomper 98 and a compilation LP of early material.

Now Or Never is a six song EP, and it’s certainly the 45 Adapters best looking release to date. Physically, it’s only available as a single sided, 45RPM, digitally printed, 12-inch clear vinyl picture disc. (The image is of a dark skinned skinhead beating on the Grim Reaper.) As attractive as it is on the outside, the music on the inside is the real star.

The title track starts things off with a guitar riff that could have been ripped straight from ‘70s rock radio. It will make you want to move your feet and shake your ass. “Friendship”, an ode to the importance of, er, friendship, ups the intensity and even adds a few ois! “Ready Blood” is a serious track about living on the wrong side of the tracks. “Let’s Play” is another dance-worthy, upbeat track, even if there’s a little menace in the message. “Shabby” addresses those who value outward appearance over the content of hearts and souls.

There is not a bad song on Now Or Never, but closer “Broken Men” is the EP’s highlight. It’s no secret that a lot of great punk musicians are the product of broken homes. Sometimes that experience had a profound influence on them. It certainly inspired countless, angst-ridden punk songs. “Broken Men” asks how men who have been through that pain can do better for their own kids. It’s powerful stuff.

There’s a lot to like about 45 Adapters new EP. Now Or Never is crammed with great songs with heartfelt lyrics and catchy choruses. It should also be noted that the lead guitar playing is excellent throughout. These hard drinking, well dressed New Yorkers have reminded us they do traditional punk about as well as anyone.