by Bob Freville
I had largely given up on Punk ever since pop-punk acts like Avril Lavigne and Good Charlotte co-opted the label and bastardized it. But every now and again, I come across an artist that puts things right and calls out the many wrongs of the genre.
In recent years, acts like The Scrags and Whispering Sons have reminded me of why I loved Punk growing up. Embodying all of the cultural upheaval and working class outrage that made bands like The Clash and Fear so powerful and important back in the day.
Paris Street Rebels is one such act, a 4 piece outta Ballingfry, Fife, Scotland with enough chops to decimate a hibachi grill. Mashing up masterful melodies with snarling indignation, they bring the listener to a place where the forsaken meets exaltation.
Each towering track of disgust and unrest paints an indelible picture of the erstwhile misfit at odds with his own image. Whether they’re ruminating on the unfortunate role suicide plays in the collective rockstar mythos or reminding us of the true Punk ethos, Paris Street Rebels thrash like we haven’t heard many bands of recent vintage thrash.
“Freakshow” starts off deceptively familiar with standard brand riffing, but when Grant Malcolm and Kevin Murphy, Junior launch into their vocals we know there’s going to be something more in store. A schizo anthem meant to shed a light on mental illness, it reveals the imperative of being true to oneself even in an era in which artifice is rewarded and authenticity shunned.
As the band writes on their Soundcloud wall, “In a year you can complete your payments on that top of the range television set you always wanted. You could, if so inclined work your way towards social media saint hood or convince your employer you are appropriately obedient and inoffensive enough to be granted that 60p payrise unfairly withheld from you many times before.
“Over the last 12 months we chose another way. Bleeding over drum kits, mourning unused choruses and unfulfilled revolutions. Pacing relentlessly ‘Travis Bickel’ [sic] style in smoke filled council houses, contemplating violence. We did it for the glory, and weren’t in it for the money, which is a good job because there was none.
“We started this thing not to be accepted we couldn’t give a fuck at this point. We just knew we couldn’t live with keeping our mouths shut any longer. We are Paris Street Rebels this is Freakshow.
“Buy that television , earn that pay rise, if that’s who you are……but if it’s not….don’t pretend that you mean it.”
Lash your lobes to the sound of Paris Street Rebels here: