Roger Miret & the Disasters

1984

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Don't say Roger Miret is tiring. 1984 is the veteran hardcore punk frontman's second solo record, and it's released concurrently with Agnostic Front's latest bludgeoning effort. While AF remains committed to the confrontational N.Y.C. hardcore aesthetic, Miret's side work with the Disasters looks to the boozier swagger of the Business, Sham 69, and contemporaries like Dropkick Murphys for influence. (Al Barr joins the gang chorus for "The Boys.") But don't get confused. 1984's throwback sound is loose and lively, but Miret still brings the sweat-blood passion that's always defined Agnostic Front. And that's what helps him get away with well-worn lad-rallying titles like "Riot, Riot, Riot," "Loud and Proud," and "Street Rock n Roll." Of course, Miret himself is well-worn, and 1984 is shot through with references to how it used to be. On "Lower East Side," a scarred punk realizes that his pride alone won't stop gentrification. The title track also recalls those good old days, with Miret's nasally yawp spitting lyrics of both anger and reminiscence. Despite their bitterness, these songs also feature some of the album's strongest guitar hooks. "Janie Hawk" is another highlight -- it's a step up dynamically, with Ziggy Stardust lyrical references and a great storyline to go with some actual singing from Miret. Still, most of 1984 is what you expect from the street punk proud. "It's just me and the boys/A shot of Jager for my friends!" goes the rowdy drinking-and-fighting celebration "Hooligans," while "I Don't Like You" is a blistering minute of cussing and territory-marking. These aren't new concepts, from the song titles to the song subjects to the rangy guitar leads and rollicking "HEY! HEY!"s shouting throughout. But again, for what it is, Miret and his band's commitment and seasoned ability keep 1984 largely on target.

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