Roger Miret and The Disasters - 1984 (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Roger Miret and The Disasters

1984 (2005)


This late in the game Roger Miret's very good at what he does, so while 1984 is an album full of street punk clichés and free of any real surprises, it still manages to deliver a catchy batch of shout-along rock'n'roll. The Disasters continue to have a lot in common with the U.S. Bombs, as Miret spits out lyrics with the delivery of Duane Peters while the band's backing vocals are layered to drive the chorus hooks as deep as possible. Miret's not going to blow any minds with 1984 but there's a workmanlike quality here that's admirable.

While it would be easy to make the obvious criticisms (87% of the records in the genre must have songs titled "Riot, Riot, Riot" "Loud And Proud" and "Hooligans") it's hard to deny how good 1984 sounds. The guitar sound delivered by Miret and Rhys Kill is remarkably filled out and surprisingly crisp for the style. If the band set out to record a huge, driving back-to-basics rock'n'roll record then they've succeeded. Miret's vocals are at their most interesting when he's completely departed from anything resembling Agnostic Front. Check out the verses to "Street Rock N Roll" for an example, as his voice swaggers and hits those snotty 70's peaks that the Briefs do so well. Miret's tend to deliver slightly more melodic moments than many of the street punk bands with similar approaches. It's nice to hear that the gang vocals that populate nearly every chorus are actually singing something and not just shouting the slogan of the moment. Sure, you have to deal with more than a few lapses into thuggish lyricism, but Miret's got heart and that goes a long way.

The Disasters replaced their entire rhythm section in 2004, with Johnny Rioux moving on to the Street Dogs and Johnny Kray back in the Krays. Ably filling the void on bass and drums are Brian Darwas and Mike Mulieri. Yet despite this recent change it's clear that the two years spent touring behind their debut (and appearing on some bizarre bills, but I digress) have formed a very real bond in the quartet that goes beyond "side project." It's reflected in the tight batch of rock songs here. Of course Roger Miret And The Disasters aren't doing anything that Stiff Little Fingers or Sham 69 or even early Dropkick Murphys haven't already done, but they do it well. When it comes to revivalist genres that's really what counts.