The Bar Stool Preachers latest, “Grazie Governo” (“Thank You Government”), just so happens to be the punk rock album we need at this fucked up moment in time.
A follow up to their 2016 debut, “Grazie Governo” comes after the band has spend the past few years touring the globe, honing their sound – a satisfying mix of punk, ska and reggae – while the current political climate in the U.S. and Europe has grown increasingly dark (xenophobia and nationalism from country leaders, giving racists a pass to live it up). The band certainly had plenty of material to work with this time around. And that anger and frustration can be heard throughout, like on the anti-racist/anti-sexist/anti-homophobia song “DLTDHYOTWO” (with a calliope intro that would make the guys in Madness smile) or the title track, quite possible the best ska protest songs ever committed to wax.
Elsewhere, the band touches on a range of other topics, but it’s that frustration and anger at the way the world is being run right now that keep bubbling up throughout the dozen tracks here.
On “Grazie Governo,” The Bar Stool Preachers seem to be a blend of the working-class sensibilities of a group like Cock Sparrer (not that unusual consider BSP’s Tom McFaul and CS’s Colin McFaul share DNA) with the global political consciousness of a band like The Clash.