Friday, March 10, 2017

New album from Brom Bones!

Much to my chagrin, I have no recollection of ever reviewing a release from Brom Bones - unquestionably one of south central Pennsylvania's finest punk bands for 27 years and counting. I was, in my younger days, witness to a number of stunning live performances from this veritable institution of Lancaster, PA punk rock. It's perplexing to me how I never got my mitts on studio releases such as Cope (1998) and Apart (2001). Or maybe I did and just don't remember! Either way, it's a tremendous joy to receive Brom Bones in such fine form on their brand-new album Get Down. Stay Down. I have to question anyone who automatically passes on new releases from long-standing punk bands. And albums like this one are the reason why. Going back to the late '80s, Brom Bones have beautifully navigated the transitions from adolescence to adulthood to middle age - and you could make a good argument that they're now making the best music of their lives. This is a veteran, seasoned outfit that brings so much life experience to the table. Yet these guys haven't lost an ounce of the energy and enthusiasm that have driven their music from the start.  

Get Down. Stay Down. is vintage Brom Bones: powerful, melodic, and full of genuine lyrical substance delivered with tremendous conviction by outstanding vocalist Jason Berlet. It takes me back to a great time in music - when the contents of your record collection might have ranged from Dag Nasty to Minor Threat to The Descendents to The Replacements. And while it's a tricky maneuver to hold strong to those roots while continuing to grow as a band, Brom Bones are pulling it off like pros. Not only does the band sound terrific, but the material shines as well. "Short Fuse" is the perfect song to play at earsplitting volumes when you're pissed off at the world and seeking deliverance from a shitty day. "War Generation" - the very definition of a sing-along anthem - has had me head-bobbing and air-drumming in my computer chair all week long. "The Victim" delivers the kind of rugged, ripping punk rock that I just don't hear enough these days. And "The Mats" is a clever and loving homage to one of the two or three greatest bands to ever walk the earth.

If Get Down. Stay Down. is your first exposure to Brom Bones, the album ought to get you very excited about checking out the band's extensive back catalog (which you can do over at Bandcamp). And longtime fans will not be surprised to discover that Brom Bones are still killing it after all these years. Whether you're a fan of '80s post-hardcore & old school pop-punk or just someone who appreciates punk music that's full of intelligence and heart, I strongly recommend the $10 investment in Get Down. Stay Down. It will easily go down as one of the year's top albums. The band has dedicated it to the memory of original member Sean Wolfe - a brilliant talent and one of the best human beings I've ever had the good fortune to know.



-L.R.

https://brombones.bandcamp.com/album/get-down-stay-down 
https://www.facebook.com/brombonespa 

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