Pop Break Live: Street Dogs with The New Darkbuster and Barstool Preachers at House of Independents in Asbury Park, NJ – 6/15/2018
Words and Photos by Patrick Gilrane
Veteran punk rockers The Street Dogs returned to Asbury Park on June 15 playing to a near capacity crowd at The House of Independents. Also, on tonight’s ticket The New Darkbuster and the UK based punk/ ska band The Bar Stool Preachers.
The last time The Street Dogs graced Asbury Park was several years back, playing a gig at the old Asbury Lanes, and I can’t tell you how good it is to have them back. Known for their high energy shows and relative lyrics, The Street Dogs do something refreshing, bold and without apologies, and that’s telling it like it is, with no bullshit or sugar-coating. This band is what punk rock should be, brave, honest and unapologetically in your face. With a Boston blue collar punk pedigree, the band writes songs about working class struggles, personal struggle’s, worker rights and Veterans issues via a hard driving musical delivery.
The Street Dogs are a Century Media Recording artist whose latest album Stand For Something Or Die For Nothing dropped on June 22. It’s been eight years since the band’s released a new album, the last being “Street Dogs” in 2010, and rightfully so there’s quite buzz in the punk community. I’ve had an advance copy of this album for about two weeks and can tell you that’s its good, really good!
Expertly produced by the bands bassist Johnny Rio, this album is 100% Street Dogs, zero filler high energy punk rock with a purpose as it should be. While this is not an album review (possibly at a later date) I can say that this album is a bit different, maybe a bit more on the technical side, really pushing the vocal range of front man Mike McColgan as well as the instrumentals of his band mates. The Street Dogs are McColgan on lead vocals, Matt Pruitt on lead guitar and vocals, Lenny Lashley on guitar and vocals, Johnny Rio on bass and vocals and last but not least Pete (#yeahpete) Sosa banging on the drums.
In typical fashion the Street Dogs played a high energy set of hard driving punk anthems for the near capacity crowd at HOI tonight, including classics like “In Defense Of Dorchester,” “Fatty,” “Two angry Kids,” Punk Rock and Roll,” and “Savin Hill” as well as a few off of their new album. I thought the set list was well thought out blending old and new, with the crowd forming a large circle pit on the floor of the venue, showing their support and appreciation. This band gets better and better with age , Pruitt and Lashley shredding it on the guitar, Rio’s driving base line coupled with Sosa’s drum beats laying a solid foundation for McColgan’s strong lyrics. A very solid set!
The New Darkbuster
(The New) Darkbuster is a fist-pumping, beer-slinging Boston punk band, that like most from the area deliver a hard driving no nonsense New England variety of punk rock. Darkbuster is Lenny Lashley on lead vocals and guitar, Ruben Lipkind on bass and vocals, Pete Sosa on drums, Halston Luna on guitar and vocals, Nate Sander on keys and trumpet and Tommy Q on sax.
Darkbuster took the stage to “Punk Rock’s Not Dead” and delivered a no frills simple set of high energy punk tunes. It’s been a few years since I’ve seen these guys, with this show reminding me how kick ass they really are. Darkbuster music is really interesting, it’s not often you see a punk band with a sax and trumpet player, usually reserved for dedicated ska band’s. Lenny and band mates work the edges of musical genres creating a truly unique sound all to their own. The set continued with “Shoulda Known Better,” Stand and Deliver” and “Skinhead” which drove the crowd to reckless abandon! Darkbuster clearly commanded the attention of the crown tonight, delivering an old school punk beat down Boston style. The debate will continue, is punk dead? While bands like Darkbuster do what they do, not a fucking chance!
The Barstool Preachers
The Barstool Preachers were an interesting addition to this show. A Brighton UK based ska band with a bit of punk attitude thrown in for good measure, the Preachers were a good match for this show both stylistically and ideologically. I make it a point to see and talk to most of the support artist at the shows I cover and found the Preachers to be a breath of fresh air. Their set was lively and had the crowd on their feet from the outset, with their music being legit and of substance. After their set I had an opportunity to speak with a few of the band members who were thrilled to be in Asbury Park with the Street Dogs and Darkbuster. After our conversation, they gave me a copy of their latest CD “Blatant Propaganda”, which I’ve been listening to since. I thought the Preachers were a great addition to this show, adding a stylistic UK ska flair with a working-class message, what I call music with purpose.
In conclusion this was a great show that I’ve been waiting a long time for. The Street Dogs never fail to deliver for their fans, Darkbuster is a legit as it gets and the Bar Stool Preachers earned a bunch of new fans, not a bad night! Big thanks to House of Independents for hosting!!