The Warning Shots – Tonight! (State Line Records, 2017)

This 8 song mini album right here is the third release from one of Boston’s newest hot punk rock prospects, The Warning Shots. Tonight! follows on from their two EPs, also released through State Line last year: Six to Midnight and Vol. II respectively. You can check reviews of those two here, as part of my introductory articles on State Line Records

The brains behind this project is Mark Lind, a veteran of the Boston punk and hardcore scenes (well, scene – it’s the same fucking thing, after all – we break down boundaries, instead of building them shits). He’s best known for fronting the Ducky Boys (as famously shouted out in the original pre- Do or Die version of Bar Room Hero by the Dropkick Murphys, and co-fronting Sinners and Saints with his brother White Trash Rob of Blood for Blood. He’s been involved in numerous punk projects over the years, and this is just the latest. In addition, he also runs State Line Records, plus an online record store, http://www.Get Punk.com

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Anyway, we are after all here to check out Tonight!, so let’s have at it. I’ll try and cut to the chase. What we have here is an awesome blend of early Stiff Little Fingers meets balls out Boston style street punk as you’d expect from Street Dogs and the Ducky Boys, with elements of the swaggering East Coast melodic punk of the likes of None More Black, and the lovelorn angst of Philadelphia’s The Loved Ones. Threaded through all this, and what makes this record unique, are the strong romantic punk n’ roll influences ala Social Distortion.

Mark’s lyrics speak of a wisdom learned (the hard way) through life experience, heart break and loneliness – and a strong smattering of metaphor. Cutting across all this is a raw, hopeful yearning for better days to come, and what I interpret as a love/hate relationship with Boston. It’s all solidly backed with his powerfully delivered soulful but gravelly vocals. I’ve got to give special mention to the backing vocals that are typical to Mark’s musical projects. He’s got a true knack (possibly even genius level) for getting whoever he’s working with to really deliver those interweaving soaring melodies or rabble rousing, finger pointing gang vocals exactly where and when they are needed.

In conclusion, I think these guys have managed to produce a big, bold sound. The riffs are solid enough for any punker. The lead breaks have a lean, hard bitten rock n’ roll influence, kinda like when Guns n’ Roses were nasty rather than pompous. The drumming is incredible – it really drives the songs along and the drum fills have real flare. The drums are the most important aspect of any band. Obviously, if your drummer ain’t up to the task, it doesn’t matter how awesome the other guys in the band are. What I’m attempting to say (but perhaps not getting across) is that this all adds up to a very satisfying package. I’m pretty hard to please. Admittedly, I’m a fan boy of all things involving one or more of the “brothers Lind”, but even so, I am always grateful that I haven’t been let down yet.

You can order this direct from State Line here on CD or LP (in a multitude of colours)

You can listen on the Bandcamp player below

You can check out an extensive interview I did with Mark last year (I can confirm is a very interesting guy) here: part 1 and part 2

Tony of Nurgle is a true child of the North, currently living in exile in Croydon, South East London. He used to co-run a specialist record store in Manchester (Roadkill Records), and also spent a couple of years as a promoter, and put on shows for the likes of Leatherface, the Loved Ones, Lucero, Minus The Bear, These Arms Are Snakes, Spy vs Spy, Latterman etc. He also spent several years DJing at shady rock clubs in Manchester, and started the infamous Thursday night “punk room” at Jilly’s Rockworld. Also responsible for Middle Finger Response, and collaborated with a couple of friends on a monthly night called Refuse to Lose, which will still occasionally reunite the original DJ line-up – hopefully in the not too distant future.
Apart from that, it’s all bitterness and a jaundiced view of human nature, rarely skateboarding, often reading books with maps in the front.

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