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Dissociates Stream New Album

Dissociates Oct 17London punk rock powerhouse Dissociates has just released their debut album, A Capital Idea, and is streaming the full disc.  The album drops today via Safety Second Records. The album contains five brand new songs and five tracks from their previous EP, After Hours At The Violet Club.

The release will be supported by UK and European touring including a free entry London album release show with support from River JumpersSweet Empire and Harker at The Finsbury on November 11th.

Listen to the disc here.

Video: Morgan – Porcupine

MorganQuebec country-punk act Morgan has premiered a new music video for the song “Porcupine.”  The track appears on the album Morgan Deli, which was available on September 29, 2017 via Stomp Records.  

Listen to the song below.

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Chris Wollard Taking A Break From Hot Water Music

Hot Water MusicHot Water Music co-vocalist Chris Wollard has announced that he will be taking a break from the band to focus on his health.  Wollard’s full statement can be read below.

The band recently released the album, Light It Up, back in September on Rise Records.

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Mean Jeans – You’re The Light of My Life (Coors Light)

mean jeans for punk siteMean Jeans has released a Coors Lite tribute song.  The track is predictably titled “You’re The Light of My Life (Coors Light).”  The band last released the LP, Tight New Dimension, on Fat Wreck Chords back in 2016.

Listen to the song below.

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Hot Water Music Stream Full FEST 16 Set

Hot Water MusicLong running punk act Hot Water Music is sharing their set from The FEST 16 with fans in full.  The band recently released Light It Up on September 15, 2017 via Rise Records.  The album follows 2012’s Exister.

Stream the full set below.

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Video: Anti-Flag – Liar

Anti FlagPolitical-punks Anti-Flag have premiered a new music video from their next full length.  The video features the song “Liar” and appears on the disc, American Fall, which dropped last week via Spinefarm Records.

Listen to the song below.

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Arising From Sign With Thousand Islands Records

Thousand IslandsMontreal melodic punk band Arising From has joined the growing ranks of Thousand Island Records.  The band last released their debut self titled EP back in June 2016, and is celebrating the announcement by offering it as a name-you-price download here.

The band plans to record a brand new full length for 2018.

Video: Frank Turner – There She Is

Frank TurnerEnglish singer/songwriter Frank Turner has released a video for the song “There She Is.” The track is set to appear on Turner’s upcoming greatest hits album, Songbook.  The disc is set to drop onNovember 24, 2017 on Xtra Mile Records.

Watch the video below.

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The Dreadnoughts

The Dreadnoughts

Foreign Skies

Self Released
By

Rating: 5/5

 
 

 

 

Notorious Vancouver celtic/folk punk act The Dreadnoughts’ quick rise to fame was halted when the band announced a general hiatus, which kept the them out of the studio after the release of their third full length, Polka Never Dies. The band kept in touch with their fans, while some members pursued educational endeavors and settled into a more “normal” routines outside of life on the road.  The band went on to play a handful of annual local shows, but maintained a low profile.  After a few years, and as I suspect due to a likely case of cabin fever, the gigs started to become more frequent, and slowly but surely the band began hitting the road slightly ever more often.

Fans in various locales embraced the increased activity, but the band remained silent about new material.  Then, suddenly and without warning, the troupe announced that they were hitting the studio.  By this point a degree of nostalgia set in, and fans began to speculate as to the return of everyone’s favourite cider punks.  Would they provide another sea shanty adventure like Legends Never Die?  A fast and furious Polka Never Dies inspired punk rock polka?  More songs about the various clubs and dingy dives scattered around Vancouver circa Victory Square?  Given The Dreadnoughts’ history of fitting fairly well alongside bands like Dropkick Murphys, The Real McKenzies, Gogol Bordello, and other like-minded acts, these were reasonable assumptions.

But the surprises continued.

Much can happen in 7 years, and the boys had grown far grander aspirations.  While they still lived for the sweet taste of a fine English cider, their pallet had become further refined.  So instead of announcing yet another soundtrack to a foggy but memorable Saturday night at their old watering hole Pub 340, The Dreadnoughts took to the books and turned to the pages of history for inspiration.  With their sights squarely set on penning a concept album against the war torn backdrop of 1914, the band sought to write a concept album unlike the genre had ever seen.  Set at the dawn of World War I, the band’s impressive concept album, Foreign Skies, ambitiously tackles the bloodiest and most needless loss of human life in modern world history.

When it comes to “the war to end all wars,” The Dreadnoughts recognize the tact and respect that engaging with such subject matter entails.  Clearly someone in the band took some history courses during their hiatus, because honour and sensitivity run through the track listing.  Foreign Skies is a meticulously researched collection of tracks that chronicle the events and emotions underpinning the great war.  This is not a popular history of famous battles, but a widely ranging scope of from pivotal public events within and leading to the war, to individual soldier and civilian accounts of tragedy and loss.  Each song’s instrumental score has been carefully aligned to reflect the visceral nature of the conflict and human reaction therein.  

While many of the initial singles released in promotion of Foreign Skies harness a classic Dreadnoughts feel, the band largely disembarks from the safety of familiarity.  In fact, four-minute opener “Up High” is a simple, fiddle-fronted ode to fallen soldiers, and a promise to “remember.”  While uncharacteristic of The Dreadnoughts’ typically playful front, the song’s somber and serious delivery set a respectful and mournful tone that ensures that the lives lost are not trivialized in the forthcoming account of battlefield encounters.  “Up High” may not be what fans are expecting, but it’s absolutely necessary considering the subject matter.

From one extreme to the next, “Foreign Skies” follows up with what might be the band’s single most ambitious track to date.  An expansive, three-part, five-minute masterpiece, the track opens with a fast paced, accordion fuelled account of travelling abroad.  The tune transforms from channelling the initial enthusiasm that soldiers beamed with upon volunteering for service, to a far more unsettling and frantic paced polka that may represent the jolt of reality that hit these fresh faced countrymen upon reaching the battlefield.  The song’s final third embeds a soft spoken piano and guitar laced ballad, expressing the cruel hard reality of modern war.  Coming full circle, the band once again invokes a furious tempo, but this time the energy is one of courage and perseverance.  The title track serves as a powerful statement as to the psychological toll that WWI left on everyone it touched.

The album’s broad mid section contains a wide assortment of styles and topics, mostly chronicling pivotal battles, and the uneven struggles and stalemates that persisted.  Tracks like “Jericho” and “Anna Maria” are hard nosed, guitar heavy punk rock showpieces featuring far flung, gritty, gang bolstered choruses instilling the vicious momentum of the front lines.  “Black and White” in particular sets its sights on the rat-infested, dank and dark conditions plaguing trench warfare.  Placing a focus on the war’s most tragic stalemate, The Battle of the Somme, the band truly communicates the “hell on earth” atmosphere that we can only imagine came with combined casualties of over one million soldiers.

It should also be worth noting that despite a wealth of traditional World War I songs to draw upon, The Dreadnoughts discard the crutch of adapting traditional songs in favour of those of their own creation.  Only the short spoken poem “A Broken World,” which retains its poetic delivery and striking imagery, is imported from an outside author.  In this regard, the band continues their tradition of including an acapella and polka track, but this time both of their own design.  “The Bay Of Sulva” serves the role of the former, drawing upon the band’s collective voices for a vocally exclusive track that would have served a believable moral booster to the soldiers on their amphibious landing of the Gallipoli peninsula.  The latter, “The Amiens Polka,” is a fiesty, mostly instrumental accordion and fiddle polka representing an oddity after the German capture of the French town of Amiens, in which an exhausted German brigade opted to raid the wine cellars and party with the French women rather than push on to the next venue.  The inclusion of deep german gang vocals at the tail of the track is pure genius, and really captures the bizarreness of this historical event as much as it stands out on the album.  

Other significant points of interest include “Gavrilo” which serves as an interesting encounter between Gavrilio Princip, the man who assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and the Devil while rotting in his cell during the war.  The inclusion of saxophone and trumpet (provided courtesy Talco) amidst the Dreadnoughts’ already impressive musicianship finds the band exploring a Balkan vibe with a zest and energy that will unquestionably transfer to the stage.  On the opposite side of the spectrum, “Black Letters” may be the band’s most emotional offering ever.  Written from the perspectives of those receiving and sending a loved one’s final letter from the front lines, the majestic fiddlework, soft piano keys, and finely strummed guitar are enough to bring a tear to one’s eye.  “By the time you read these words there will be no more war, for me, there will be, only peace,” sings the band in closure.  I challenge anyone to listen to this particular track on Remembrance Day without feeling deeply moved.  

The album doesn’t conclude with the end of the war, but rather in the mind of an estranged soldier, reminiscing from the battlefield about drinking cider in a local pub.  “Back Home In Bristol” ends the album on a high note, returning to Britain with a sense of sweaty reality, and serving as a vivid, party-inducing reminder of the celebration and normalcy to which every soldier yearned to return.  

In the end, The Dreadnoughts have penned an essay of album, which might justify this exhaustive review.  If Foreign Skies presents a thesis, it’s about the shared human experience, and the stark realization as to the horrors of war that bound the soldiers together. Foreign Skies is unlike anything in the band’s discography.  In this regard Dreadnoughts fans will likely require a few listens to truly grasp Foreign Skies’ deep and intensive purpose.  Even after countless listens, each song continues to reveal numerous historical nuances, and my appreciation grows with each passing listen.  Foreign Skies is a labour of love for which The Dreadnoughts have clearly outdone themselves.

Foreign Skies is available directly through the band on Bandcamp.

The Dreadnoughts Post Rehearsal Footage; Ready for Tour

The DreadnoughtsVancouver folk-punk outfit The Dreadnoughts has premiered some rehearsal footage of them practicing their new single, “Back Home In Bristol,” which will appear on the forthcoming album, Foreign Skies.    The album finds the band taking on new material in the form of a World War I concept album and will drop on November 11, 2017.

Watch the video and check out tour dates below.  Pre-order the album here.

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The Swingin’ Utters Announce Best Of Compilation

Swingin UttersLong running punk act The Swingin’ Utters has announced the released of a greatest hits compilation.  The thirty three song disc will be titled Drowning In The Sea, Rising With The Sun and is set to drop via their long time home, Fat Wreck Chords, on December 8, 2017.

Full track listing and pre-orders can be found here.

The Run Up Streams New LP In Full

The Run UpBristol, UK band The Run Up has premiered a full stream of their self titled debut LP, which is set to drop on November 15, 2017 through Real Ghost Records.  The album follows their 2015 EP, Scared Of Everything, which was released on Paper + Plastick Records.

Listen to the full disc here courtesy DyingScene.

Chase Huglin Releases Full Band Versions For “Shae” & “Pills”

HuglinChase Huglin has premiered a stream of 2 full band singles for “Shae” and “Pills”.  The original version of the songs first appeared on Chase Huglin‘s Glow EP, available now via InVogue Records.  

Watch the video below.  Huglin entered the studio back in August to record a new album for 2018 with producer Nick Ingram (Hotel Books, Hawthorne Heights).

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Sleep On It Streams New Album In Full

Sleep On ItSleep On It has premiered a full stream for their new album, Overexposed.  The album drops today via Equal Vision Records.

Stream the disc here courtesy here.

Kindling – Better World

KindlingWestern Massachusetts band Kindling has premiered a new song from their upcoming full length.  The song is titled “Better World” and will appear on the album Hush, which is set to drop on November 10, 2017 via 6131 Records
 
Listen to the song below.

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Tours: Throw The Fight / All That Remains

Throw The FightThrow The Fight has announced that they will be touring in Canada as support for All That Remains.  The band continues the support their recent full length, Transmission, available now on Bullet Tooth.

Tour dates are below.

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Pinegrove – Intrepid

Pinegrove ElsewhereIndie/alt country band Pinegrove has premiered a new song.  The track is titled “Intrepid” and will appear on their forthcoming album.  The Montclair, NJ band are currently continue to support their previous LP, Cardinal, which is out now on Run For Cover Records.

Tour dates are below.

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Darius Koski

Darius Koski

What Once Was Is By And Gone

Fat Wreck Chords
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

Darius Koski of Swingin’ Utter fame surprised the punk world with Sisu, his impressive solo debut.  Flavoured with twangy folk-punk ranging from boppity country to the essence of brooding gothic folk-punk, Koski has an uncanny knack for keeping listeners on their toes.  For his follow-up release, What Once Was Is By And Gone, Koski takes a deep plunge into the lesser known, making for some wholly unexpected and fairly unique songs.  One moment he’s channelling Johnny Cash, and the next Tom Waits.  Koski is confident in his risk taking, and the result is unlike anything else on the Fat Wreck Chords roster.

But before we delve into the less conventional side of things, it’s worth noting that What Once Was Is By And Gone still offers many songs in line with Koski’s previous effort.  Opener “Black Sheep” offers the familiar casual twang running through Koski’s country tracks, with “Because He’s Beautiful” building up to a trot with a little more of that full bodied guitar punch and “Yes I Believe” featuring a big ol’ upright bass leaning heavily on rockabilly for inspiration.  “Dead End Days” and “Little Johnny” could even pass as stripped down versions of Swingin’ Utters b-sides.  Collectively, there’s a small EP worth of familiar sounds drawing comparisons with Larry & His Flask and Greenland Is Melting spaced throughout the album.  This ensures that regardless of how far Koski strays, he always veers back to safety.

And does he ever stray. Moments after “Black Sheep” Koski launches into “Old Bones,” a stripped down organ and acoustic guitar piece with a soft piano crescendo that can only be described as delicate.  Quiet, personal, and reflective, Koski exudes a humbleness seldom explored by any punk frontman’s solo endeavors.  “Stay With Me” ventures further down the rabbit hole in a song best understood as a serenade.  From the ghostly opening whistle, to the sorrowful violin and enchanting female accompaniment, the song evokes blissful emotions most suited for a private waltz amongst lovers.  These are words and associations I never imagined I would make with Koski, and bare little resemblance to anything in my music library.  Perhaps the oddest inclusion lies in the three minute instrumental intermission, “Soap Opera.”  Almost entirely piano driven, the track matches its moniker, and could perhaps serve as an opening theme to a psychological thriller set in a 1930’s manor house.  Heck, it’s cinematic feel could probably fit snuggly somewhere in an episode of Downton Abbey.  

What Once Was Is By And Gone is an unexpected listen.  It’s one of those Fat Wreck Chords releases that you might have a hard time envisioning Fat Mike blasting in his decked out van.  But that shouldn’t shy Koski’s core fanbase from taking note.  Darius Koski has really put himself out there in a unique and unconventional way, and for the most part, it works.  While a few tracks, like the hazy washed out take on 60’s psychedelia ”Imitation Tala,” are less memorable, the album is a respectable grower that reveals subtle nuances with each passing listen.  Given that Swingin’ Utters fans are probably at a place in their life where they will accept these curiosities, What Once Was Is By And Gone is an album that Koski’s fans may have not known they were waiting for.  So go ahead, take the plunge, your curiosity will be rewarded.

Video: All Time Low – Good Times

All Time LowAll Time Low have premiered a new music video.  The video features the song “Good Times” from their recent full length, Last Young Renegade via Fuelled By Ramen.   upcoming album, Last Young Renegade.

Watch the video below.

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Icarus The Owl – Coma Dreams

Icarus The OwlIndie pop-punk quartet Icarus the Owl has premiered a new stop-motion video for the song “Coma Dreams.”  The song is set to appear on the album Rearm Circuits which is due out December 1, 2017.  The album follows their 2015 effort, Pilot Waves.  

Watch the video below.

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You Vandal – Sorry

You VandalYou Vandal has premiered a new song from their upcoming full length.  The song is titled “Sorry” and will appear on their Jump Start Records debut, I Just Want to Go Back to Hell, will be available on November 17, 2017. 

Listen to the song below.

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The Riptides

The Riptides

Canadian Graffiti

Self Released
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

Canadian pop-punkers The Riptides released one of my favourite albums back in 2009, Tales From Planet Earth.  A smart little Ramones-inspired pop-rocker playing to the theme of science fiction classics, the album drew inspiration from The Lillingtons for a memorable career highlight.  So how do you follow-up such an defining work?  Apparently you don’t.  Instead you wait eight years, release a few splits and EPs to stay active, and then discretely return to the basics.  The Ontario quintet follow with their long awaited full length, Canadian Graffiti.  

An album that opens to the unforgiving sound of flatulence, the band makes clear that Canadian Graffiti doesn’t take itself seriously or offer any grand pursuit beyond hosting college party keggers.  Generally, the album’s eighteen songs come in two sizes; fast, aggressively played bursts of energy hovering around a minute or so, and more involved chorus-heavy earworms.  For instance, the minute and a half opener “Couldn’t Care Less” frames the album in a we’ll-do-as-we-please-because-we-can attitude which fits the first-album-in-eight-years mentality.  Other amusing examples of these quick-and-dirty bursts include the Nerf Herder style nerd-punk of “Get Out of My Dreams, Get into My Tardis” (revisited in greater length in “Beam me Up”) and the sloppy punk of “Wimpy Goes To Washington.”

The increasingly involved songs adhere to a more conventional verse-chorus-verse structure dominated by Andy Vandal’s gruff poppy vocals and the band’s classic take on three chord pop-punk circa Teenage Bottlerocket.  “Goodbye Hawaii” ushers in a fresh feelgood vibe by injecting elements of surf culture and doo-wop that is echoed more directly several songs later with the very 50’s leaning “Fast Girls.”  Others like “Homing Missile” and “Happily Ever After” land with a more combative punch.  The longer the song, the more opportunity for The Riptides to realize the potential of their powerful backing vocal harmonies.  From sweeping “woah-oah” chorus lines to delegating entire chorus lines to the backup section, centrepiece songs swell until they border on anthemic.  Take “Manchurian Candidate,” which captures the band’s thematic and musical potential as they recollect the classic novel/film much in the same vein of high points lifted from Tales From Planet Earth.  Only a minority of songs (“Babybottle” jumps to mind) are a tad juvenile in scope, and lack the same quick wit and slick penmanship as their more entertaining counterparts.

Overall, Canadian Graffiti is an easy going pop-punk album that brings the The Riptides back to basics.  A fun-loving feel runs through the album, bringing together the at times disparate array of themes, tempos, and styles.  While the album’s track-listing bloat could stand to be slimmed down, that may have meant trimming some of the album’s funnier moments, in which case the band leaves that dilemma for listeners to adjust on their own playlists.  An easy choice for pop-punk enthusiasts.

   

GBH – Blue Sky Thinking

GBHLong running UK punk act GBH has premiered a new song.  The track is titled “Blue Sky Thinking” and is from their upcoming album, Momentum, which is set to drop on November 17, 2017 via Hellcat Records. Pre-order the album here.

Listen to the song below.

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Mansions Stream New EP In Full

Mansions DeserterSeattle via Louisville indie rockers Mansions have premiered a full stream of their new EP, Deserter, which drops on November 3, 2017 via Bad Timing Records.

You can pre-order the Deserter EP on physical formats here and digitally here.

Listen to the full disc here courtesy Billboard.

Video: The Adicts – Picture The Scene

The AdictsLong running UK punk act The Adicts has premiered a new music video.  The video features the song  “Picture The Scene” which is set to appear on the disc And It Was So! which will drop on November 17, 2017 via Nuclear Blast Records.

Watch the video below.

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Brian Fallon – Forget Me Not

Brian FallonGaslight Anthem frontman Brian Fallon has premiered a new song entitled “Forget Me Not.”  The track will appear on Fallon’s upcoming solo album, Sleepwalkers, which is due out on February 9, 2018.  

Listen to the song on Spotify.

 

 

   

Hit The Lights – Believe In Me

Hit The LightsPop-punk rock band Hit The Lights has premiered a new song.  The track is titled “Believe In Me,” and was released as a single.  The band continues to support their latest EP, Just To Get Through To You, which dropped last year via Pure Noise Records.

Listen to the song below.

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Video: Anti-Flag – When The Wall Falls

Anti FlagPolitical-punks Anti-Flag have premiered a new music video from their next full length.  The video features the song “When The Wall Falls” and will appear on the disc, American Fall, which is set to drop on November 3, 2017 via Spinefarm Records.

Listen to the song below.

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Allout Helter Stream New Album in Full

Allout HelterAllout Helter has released a stream of their new album, The Notion Of Control, which dropped today via Bird Attack Records

Listen to and order the disc here.

Slaughter Beach Dog Birdie

Slaughter Beach, Dog

Birdie

Lame-O Records
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

Philly indie/emo punk act Modern Baseball recently entered hiatus due in part to a case of writer’s block experienced by Jake Ewald.  As part of his therapy he embarked on a side project, Slaughter Beach, Dog, that shifted his attention from songs about personal experience to the outward construction of a fictional town and creation of accompanying inhabitants.  Ewald’s Motorcycle.jpg EP was a refreshingly vivid example of storytelling, and his follow-up full-length, Birdie, travels even deeper down the rabbit hole.  

While Motorcycle.jpg by and large invoked an indie-rock approach, Birdie mellows by way of acoustic delivery and emotional intuition.  Ewald channels his inner John K. Samson (The Weakerthans) in stripped down opener “Phoenix,” a song that lucidly describes an emergent relationship through affectionate descriptions of mundanities and memory that stick with the heart.  Ewald’s delicate delivery unfolds in tandem with lyrics that envelops the listener in a momentary mirage: “Your mother asked for a picture, she says today is your birthday, in some strung out western stutter, making all the world her ashtray, she adjusts her aviators, with an absent shaking hand, tilts the camera 45 degree and calls out modelling commands.”  Ewald’s somber tone intuitively builds an imagery and experience of that of a heavy heart.  

While Slaughter Beach, Dog is vocally damp, Ewald’s instrumental full band vision picks up the pace with layers of organ keys, wispy female vocals, and upbeat tempos.  Take “Pretty Okay,” which provokes an easy Smoking Popes vibe both in Ewald’s anecdote-rich narrative style and lingering acoustic pop-punk informed chorus (even just the smooth pronounced way he enunciates the word “college” brings to mind the Smoking Popes song of the same name).  Similar offerings include the sing along style “Sleepwalking” and whistle inducing “Acolyte”  Comparatively, the slight indie keyboard and layered self-harmonies of “Gold and Green” evoke an early Mock Orange influence.  At their core, these songs are simply a pleasure to become acquainted with.  They’re charming in personality and entertaining in substance – like an unassuming conversational highlight with a typically introverted friend.

“Everything new is a little bit bad and everything old turns you off” sings Ewald in the chorus of “Bad Beer.”  The curious little contradiction will likely appeal to the aging, thirty-something audience that Birdie will likely sit easiest with.  Not to say that aging Millennials (aka “The Organ Trail Generation) won’t point to songs like “Friend Song” and “Buttercup” as a little slow moving and clunky in the midst of such a smooth track list, but they will surely appreciate the likenesses to many bands from their college years.  Even beyond that, Slaughter Beach, Dog offers plenty of reasons for fans of indie/emo punk to take some time and become acquainted with Birdie’s vibrant world.

Video: Booze & Glory – Back On Track

Booze & GloryLondon based street punks Booze & Glory has premiered a new music video. The video features the song “Back On Track” from their latest LP, Chapter IV, which is available now via Burning Heart Records.

Watch the video below.

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