Booze & Glory
Raising The Roof 12” EP
(Pirates Press Records)
It’s funny how, over time, the purpose of EPs has seemed to change. In the Nineties (read: when I began paying attention), EPs took on a pretty lauded and/or respected position as several such titles came up from the underground [by bands like Nirvana, NOFX, Alice In Chains and Tori Amos among many, many others –ed]. Of course, all things must come to an end and now, an EP is often simply a good and convenient way for a band to potentially make a couple of bucks from a few songs which fell by the wayside during the sessions which yielded said band’s most recent album. Simply said, it is genuinely rare for an EP to mean a whole lot in the context of a band’s output these days but, in the case of Booze & Glory’s Raising The Roof EP, there’s no question that the songs are great and will easily be considered essential listening – after fans hear them. Not that Booze & Glory’s las few releases for Pirates Press haven’t been good, just that Raising The Roof is both special and a brand apart.
Just how special this 12” EP is becomes perfectly obvious as soon as stylus catches groove on the A-side of Raising The Roof, and the title track erupts to kick this running open and into gear, all at once. There – much like on many of the punk albums which came along in the Nineties from Epitaph’s stable of artists (think Dropkick Murphys, Rancid, Millencolin, Pennywise and Guttermouth) – Booze & Glory sings loud and sings proud to push listeners’ energy up, and then just lets their own energy explode as the band runs forth, side-by-side, into their own great unknown. For those who came up at the great millennial punk explosion, the sound and style exuded by Booze & Glory is – as the band’s name suggests – absolutely glorious; listeners will find they can just fall headlong and easily into the raucous, four-on-the-floor power put forth here, and will find the prospect of just falling in line behind the band as they declare that they have arrived the definition of simplicity. That opener is strong enough, but the band actually steps up their game with the second cut on the A-side, “Betrayed,” as they dig their heels in and openly defy expectation. There, singer Mark RSK stands tall and defiantly as he commands a charge with lines like, “You remember all their faults/ And you don’t trust in any word they say/ And you’re still waiting for the day when/ You can make them pay,” and the band goes out of its way to blast forth leave no heart lost. The results here are fantastic and, after the song’s three-minute, twenty-second duration, listeners will be well and truly held. They may actually find that their hands are trembling as they move to flip the record over.
…But when they do, listeners will find that, while their hands may be trembling, the band doesn’t let the record’s energy lapse between sides. In spite of the first cut on the B-side featuring a French title, listeners needn’t worry, if they don’t have a baccalauréat – the only part of the song with French language in it is the title line and only holds up as a rejoinder as the band tries to decide which one of those available is the best way to live. As unlikely as it may sound in print, the song actually proves to be a particular high point in the EP’s running; the band strikes upon a sound and delivery that could be described as timeless to those who recall the high points and power of Nineties SoCal melodic hardcore, and stands as the greatest and most memorable moment in the EP’s running. That energy only reduces slightly as “C’est Las Vie” makes way for “The Streets I Call My Own,” which levels out nicely after its precursor and just seeks to drive hard until the needle lifts from the side. In print, that description of “The Streets I Call My Own” may come off as anti-climactic but, in practice, listeners will find themselves glowing from the impression left by the song, and will find themselves wishing there was more music to be found here.
And, while the idea (or the simplicity of it) may defy belief, listeners will find that they leave the Raising The Roof 12” EP satisfied but also hoping and/or wishing that the won’t have to wait long for a more fulfilling follow-up. This EP is good – there’s no denying that, and it will leave listeners wanting more – but listeners will find that they’re leaving with the hope that they won’t have to wait long for a full-length release which echoes this one still well-entrenched. [Bill Adams]
Booze & Glory’s Raising The Roof 12” EP is out now. Buy it here, directly from Pirates Press Records.