Filthy Thieving Bastards
A Melody of Retreads and Broken Quills
Alas, if only there were more bands like the mighty Filthy Thieving Bastards. Comprised of the core members of Johnny Bonnel and Darius Koski from The Swingin’ Utters, on this, their first full release, they are helped by the likes of Greg Lisher (ex-Camper Van Beethoven) as well as fellow Utter, Spike Slawson. Yet it remains the core of Bonnel and Koski who set the Bastards’ agenda. While Johnny Bonnel still sounds like Shane McGowan, albeit with a few more teeth, this release finds their sound more fleshed out than their earlier release. The album opens up with the raucous “Death is Not the End.” The track from which the album gets its name and one that sets the album off to a good start. But, it isn’t until the second track that we see what changes have come in the Bastards’ camp. “Counterfeit Cassius Clay,” a catchy as hell singalong, sounds a bit like early Clash or a smoother Pogues. This song will stay careening around your head for weeks. Next up is “Mountain Tomb,” a classic song that sounds like a long lost folk melody from the homeland. Plaintive and full of yearning that conceals as much as it reveals in the lines, a fine song for a rainy day. For fans of alt-country or roots rock and even punk rock, Filthy Thieving Bastards are calling you. Not since Social Distortion discovered their roots has an American band combined the raw wail and energy of punk with the storytelling and elegiac qualities of folk music. Embracing their blue-collar roots and a class-consciousness, these Bastards are honest, relentless and full of more passion than a thousand of your local punk bands.