Blind Man Death Stare – Comin’ In Hot

One of the great things about street punk is its unrelenting, no-BS approach to punk. Anchored by its working-class upbringing, a (mostly) progressive outlook of life and at times, nihilistic attitudes, it is arguably punk at its most unequivocal. Melbourne punks Blind Man Death Stare are no-frills punk that show their love for melody but are firmly entrenched in the street punk mantra.

Taking cues from English bands that made the genre a household name, Blind Man Death Stare are part Cockney Rejects and part GBH, but remind me of this great street punk band I once saw open for Rancid in Philadelphia; The Cuffs. Take their song “Just Because It Feels Good” as the band’s musical manifesto; melodic (that snaking guitar riff is fantastic), in-your-face, freeing, and damn if the song isn’t just a blast (plus the video is a lot of fun too- and being from Melbourne, it’s nice that they’ve made the not-so-nice part of town a little less not-so-nice). Opening cut “Clock In, Clock Out” is a spitfire ruckus of angry disillusionment at life’s grinding 9-5, it cuts to the teeth of asking why so much of humanity is as the title states- same old shit every day. Along with those cuts, you get songs with titles like “A Night Off the Piss” and “Penang”, soundtracked by more no-BS, uptempo, guitar-powered punk that occasionally shows its Oi! leanings.

Everybody loves a good 30-second track and you get one with “Pinch & Roll”, and when it comes down to it, the only real stumbling block comes with the title track. The mid-tempo choral arrangement is in contrast to the breakneck pace of the rest of the song leaving it a little jarring. But shortcomings don’t last long, and if you can’t smile at the ska-flavored closing of “Reprise” with its ode to self-love, then well, this slab of punk probably ain’t for you.

Blind Man Death Stare are unabashed at who they are; no-frills, uncompromising street punk, and their latest album, Comin’ In Hot, is as effective and enduring as a swift combat boot to the head.

(Disconnect Disconnect Records)