Ringers - Detention Halls (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Detention Halls (2007)

1-2-3-4 Go!

Who are Ringers and why don't they put an article in front of their name? Good questions. Ringers hail from Boston and play a nice blend of pretty much every mid-to-late-`90s punk band you could ever want. Their sound reminds me of the halcyon days of East Bay punk via the grime-covered walls at 924 Gilman, a basement show in Minneapolis with some half-clothed larger-than-life men and the times I spent wandering around Boston, freezing my ass off listening to what I like to think of as "old bastard rock and roll."

To be straight, I just queued up the opening track "Two Weeks" after listening to some tracks from Midwestern Songs by D4. It flows perfectly. It's a bit more laid back and features a bit more rock and roll, but overall it's a match. The guitar tones, the snotty vocals, the feeling of depression mixed with a smidge of hope that pokes through in the singalongs and choruses.

As the album goes on there's some verses that call upon Tim Armstrong's off-rhythm cadence from early Rancid albums. There's also guitar lines that remind me of Mung, old Ducky Boys and the feeling of cold, New England rock and roll, kind of what Avoid One Thing touched on in their short time together. Then there's the song "Back Bay," which might as well be a Billy Bragg tune from Back to Basics.

Detention Halls shows a band wearing all their influences on their patched-up hoodies, but rather than annoy with their desire to supplant the existing bands, they seem like they'd rather fit right in with the gang. It's hard to step back from a release like this sometimes and judge it on its own merits but it's the tradition that it's so steeped in and connected to that gives it the appeal that it has.

I almost feel like Ringers have come just a few years too late. Either that or I feel like they should move into the apartment downstairs from me and practice in my hallway. Either way, here's another band putting out some honest punk rock being supported by a great label. What else can we ask for these days?