“Grazie Governo” is the second full-length from Brighton England’s Bar Stool Preachers. With a strong dose of melodic ska-influenced punk rock, their second outing will find itself in your playlist for quite some time.
Heavily influenced by street punk, Oi and various ska sounds, the Bar Stool Preachers have put together quite an impressive 13 song collection. Right off the bat with the title track when the organ kick in, the two tone beat takes over and the socially conscious lyrics captivate you…you know what to expect throughout the remainder of the album.
If I were to make up a hodge podge interpretation of their sound I would say that the Bar Stool Preachers remind me of bands such as Citizen Fish, the Street Dogs, the Interrupters, the Have Nots and the Clash. There are plenty of street punk and oi anthems but amongst them are also a lot of ska punk, two tone and reggae influences.
You won’t find any paint by number love songs or poppy pogo punk on “Grazie Governo” but you will find songs from the heart about past lovers, times gone by, standing up for what you believe in and about making change. The songwriting is poignant and thought provoking, which just adds to the enjoyment of the album. Certain songs like “Choose My Friends”, “8.6 Days (All The Broken Hearts) and “Drive” just catch you with a hook and reel you into the mind of lead singer T.J. McFaull. He does a great job of creating and telling a story in the short span of two to three minutes.
Throughout “Grazie Governo” the Bar Stool Preachers manage to mix things up and alternate their various musical influences seamlessly from song to song or within the same song. Songs like “Warchief” and “2:22” bring out their best punk rock licks while “Choose My Friends” (which features Aimee Interrupter from the Interrupter) and the title track bring the bands rude boy roots to the forefront while everything else fits somewhere in between rude boy and street punk.
The Bar Stool Preachers are a band that has been a welcomed breath of fresh air in a music scene that was getting quite stale for me this past year. I was lucky enough to catch their live show a few months ago and was awaiting the release of “Grazie Governo” since then. When I listened to it for the first time, I immediately took notice. The album is a perfect blend of the music in which I love put to some incredibly well-written songs and lyrics that sound as fresh as they are important. The band isn’t trying to push their image or their agenda…they just want to play music and be heard. And if you haven’t heard them yet, you sure as hell should give them a listen.
Bottom Line: Ska and punk rock with a dash of oi that rises to the top of a stagnant scene that doesn’t seem to or want to say anything important. The Bar Stool Preachers are a refreshing breath of fresh air with an album that will surely please rude boys and girls and punkers alike.
Notable Tracks: Grazie Governo, 2:22, Choose My Friends, Drink, Drive, 8.6 Days (All the Broken Hearts)