ARCHIE AND THE BUNKERS
SONGS FROM THE LODGE
LP / CD / DL / CASS
Out 20 April
After their debut album shot around the garage underground world, followed by extensive US and European tours, culminating in a visceral Third Man Records session and release, the O’Connor siblings have finally landed back on their feet with just enough time to record their second full length album of Hi-Fi organ punk for Dirty Water Records before their rollercoaster ride starts again. Louder Than War’s Nathan Whittle gets dragged along for the ride.
Ohio teen tearaway siblings Archie And The Bunkers drop their second full-length album, Songs From The Lodge, and once again unleash a blistering organ-drum attack full of the wild rage of youth. The album kicks off with a guttural scream before the jabbing and pounding of Bill’s Day, a psychotic swirl of crazy tales from the jaded streets, jets in flitting between growls and croons. It’s a brutal opener that kicks you in the face, before You’re My Pacemaker showcases the duos deep love of classic British punk bands like The Damned and The Stranglers. The song builds and drops with ease and rides along on a classic garage organ sound and is a great prelude to their soon-to-be-released EP of Damned covers.
The psychosis that engulfs many of Archie And The Bunkers’ songs is never too far away and She’s A Rockin’ Machine pushes it to the fore. There’s a stalking danger that follows every note and beat in the song and the drum/vocals break midway through serves only to heighten the feeling further. The duo are also not afraid to pin their hearts and influences firmly on their sleeves, as The Cutting Edge draws heavy shades of No More Heroes in the organ melody and overall feel of the song. The change in pace sees them more brooding, before Riot City drives up the anarchic punk sound once again and throws in a fantastic organ solo the rockets by at breakneck speed.
Fire Walk With Me, an ode to Laura Palmer, drops back off the gas again and oozes along with almost lighter-in-the-air verses and an organ break that crescendos beautifully before falling off. The vocals sound pained and add another layer to the band. Belying their years, the brothers show off a real maturity in the depth of their song writing, both fresh and nostalgic in equal doses. They are not afraid to leap blindfolded into the craziness that surrounds some of their songs and pull it back when needed to let tales of unrequited love shine through, such as on one of the album highlights, Laura.
Lost In Today rallies up a moshpit circling rhythm that careers along and spins around under a tongue-in-cheek criticism of modern day overloaded boredom, while Midnight Attraction touches at times on Nitro Records sounds and early Offspring, pulling in Iggy Pop and the Dead Boys at the same time in the danger that it spews out. They wind up the album with 122 Hours Of Fear which builds a haunting organ intro into a spitting and snarling closer.
On their second full length album, Archie And The Bunkers have pushed their raw frenzied brand of organ punk to the max and produced a cracking eleven tracks that make you want to smash it up and not look back. Step into their world if you dare.
Watch the videos for She’s A Rockin’ Machine and You’re My Pacemaker below:
All words by Nathan Whittle. Find his Louder Than War archive here.