GREG ANTISTA and THE LONELY STREETS – Under The Neon Heat

Primal Beat 2021

GREG ANTISTA and
THE LONELY STREETS –
Under The Neon Heat

Matured and taking responsibility for what’s going on around them, veterans of SoCal punk circles create righteous racket on album number two.

Greg Antista had had enough affairs with substances to assume he should get a firmer grip on any situation in order to serve up something substantial in the field of art. It wouldn’t be wise for the middle-aged gentleman to revert to the rascal ways of FOXY and JOYRIDE he was a member of so, forming THE LONELY STREETS with peers of the same provenance, the Fullerton musician introduced adult slant to the proceedings. As a result, while the subject matter of their debut, “Shake, Stomp And Stumble” from 2018, still felt rather juvenile, the foursome’s sophomore effort is much more steeped in social issues.

That’s what this record’s opener “Down On Commonwealth” is about, a diatribe against the police brutality in Antista’s city and protests against the murder of Kelly Thomas – an angry mix of jangly licks and jagged riffs, where Greg’s relentless vocal assault meets the edge of former Adolescent Frank Agnew’s six-string attack, before the latter’s boogie piano, offset by the former’s guitar, fills “Feel Alright” with merriment. However, the life-affirming, indie rev of “Tijuana Jail” sounds just as jolly, albeit a bit generic, but if “Rosalita” seems to chug along the same lines, a rewrite of Warren Zevon’s “Carmelita” drifts away on his namesake, bassist Warren Renfrow’s accordion. And though “Together Tonight” gets high on pure pop harmonies and Jorge E. Disguster’s infectious beat, it’s the soul-searching quasi-ballad “Lonesome Casualty” that everyone will be able to relate to and the acoustic serenade of “Unfinished Business” that oozes sweet regret and remorse for all to share until heavy hymnal wave shatters the reverie and introduces “Broken Glass” and “Halfway To Whole” to the folk-infused flow.

Had this album been less homogenic in terms of tempo and arrangements, it could have packed a fiercer blow; as it is, “Under The Neon Heat” is merely a preparation for the greater things which are bound to follow.

***3/4

June 25, 2021

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