Spot on punk
Barfbag might be new on the scene, but the music scene wouldn’t be the same without Barfbag’s lead singer David Bason. Why one might ask, he’s responsible some of people’s favorite bands that are making music. Bason is a multi-talent, music manager, record executive and he did A&R and signed bands like The Dresden Dolls and The Strokes. But the other members are familiar too. On the drums, Brian Viglione (The Dresden Dolls) delivers iconic punk sound and famous producer Kenny Carkeet shreds on the guitar and is the producer of the band’s first album, Let’s Stop a War.
The album was released on November 3rd. Fitting on election day. The album is full of political messages, like being fed up with the government, white supremacy, open-racism and sex trafficking. The album is so amped up with messages. It doesn’t need to be long. The entire album has a run time of only 18 short minutes. Some EPs run longer.
Songs like “Opinions Are Not News” are just four, maybe five seconds long, but they hit the nail right on the head. Yes, indeed, opinions are not news, and many people, unfortunately, don’t know that. So maybe listeners can use this song to respond to the one family member who believes Facebook more than science. “Morrissey Wears Leather Shoes,” “No Regretzkys” and “Spelling Be” are the other super short tracks. But who doesn’t love these short tracks that bands like blink-182 used to master? They are usually a welcome little break between hard-hitting political messages.
“Pornocracy” is just that—a full-blooded punk song exploding with a socio-political message. “Right to Fight Back” follows these footsteps, of course. The guitars are shredding, and the message is clear, the government people now have sucks big time. Separating kids at the border, police brutality, etc. are all things the band is including as topics. This goes for not just this song but also in tracks like “Street Crime.”
The song hits the listener with “Street crime is a reaction to oppression.” But generally, the lyrics of this entire album are worth to be explored, aka googled. “A Moment of Clarity Between Tweets” is another fast-paced song with a clear target. The fast pace drops in the slower “She Doesn’t Wanna Be Here,” a spoken word track. The vocals are so clear, and the listener can hear every single word. It’s an intense song, which clearly roots in the sad reality of sex trafficking.
The second to last song, “Some Of It Was True,” starts with the same spoken word rhythm as the previous song. The social commentary is spot on, and probably many punk fans can find their voice in this one.
Barfbag might be new, but it feels like they have been in the scene forever. The album’s socio-political commentary is able to capture what’s on everyone’s mind, as the band is channeling four long years of fear, anger and chaos. It will be interesting to see what the band will take from the next four years of American politics. Let’s Stop a War has the potential to become a fundamental punk album.