Booze & Glory are one of a collection of London-based punk bands who, to the casual listener, sound like they might be churning out the same old, same old. To those already in the know, Booze & Glory has possibly been on your radar for some considerable time. Formed in London in 2009, Booze & Glory started life as a straight-ahead salute to the rowdy street punk and Oi! bands of the late ‘70s and ‘80s UK scene and have been gathering quite the following ever since with one of their videos on YouTube reaching almost seven million views. That’s impressive for a band that, to the relatively small faithful, is well known but possibly no further out into the world than that. Booze & Glory are doing something about that however. Freshly signed to the legendary Swedish imprint Burning Heart, as well as the release of their latest Chapter IV, we can also expect a worldwide tour, venturing to the States, Europe and Japan in the hope that that following will grow ever more. And it would be an immense shame if it didn’t on this offering.
The rumbling basslines lead the charge into songs that feel as though they were created for pure joy and an immense live experience. These songs sound as good right in your ears as they do pushing through your speakers in all its neighbour-bothering glory and will sound huge in a live setting.
What’s most striking about Chapter IV however is the overwhelming positivity that flows through it. Booze & Glory don’t anything new to say but that’s not the point. Mark Booze’s pure cockney snarl risks making Booze & Glory fall into cliché to those who aren’t listening properly but that what makes the songs feel like their most honest yet. The magnificent opener ‘Days, Months, Years’ is possibly the biggest anthem here, starting beautifully before descending into the kind of melodic chaos that the Dropkick Murphy’s haven’t put out for some time. ‘Blood from a Stone’ is possibly the most accessible track here, or the quick snap rabbit punches of songs like ‘Life’s a Gamble’ and the surprisingly sentimental little singalong ‘For The Better Times’. The songs have this odd feeling of being written on the cusp of the moment as they do being carefully thought out over months of writing too. This is none more prominent than on ‘The Time is Now’, with its singalong chorus and pogo-inducing rhythm and the power-riffing and tweaking bass of ‘Carry On’. I’m 33 and starting to feel 40 creep towards my body and this one actually had me bouncing and freaking the fuck out of the people walking by my window.
This is what separates Booze & Glory from the pack of London punk bands that sound very similar if you listen passively; they don’t just light a fire in you, they shine through it and make you smile while you burn. If you’re looking for your pure British punk fix, you can’t do wrong by trying out Booze & Glory’s Chapter IV. It might be British punk’s best and most compelling of 2017.
What separates Booze & Glory from the pack of London punk bands that sound very similar if you listen passively; they don't just light a fire in you, they shine through it and make you smile while you burn.