Sometimes a band from your past does the ultimate awesome and puts out new material 14 years after their last release. Chicago’s Bollweevils surprised many, including myself, and dropped an incredible album called Essential on the possible world-famous Red Scare Industires records.
The album title is a strong nod to the actual professions of the members of the band. No lie, aside from Dr. Daryl Wilson (yes, a real doctor who saves lives), there are first responders and educators who make up the Bollweevils.
This band has always resonated with me well because they had a few albums on Dr. Strange Records back in the 90s which I listened to frequently. They called quits in 1996 and came back into the scene around 2006 when they played Riot Fest but kept a low profile and clearly took the time they needed to get back at it without missing a beat.
“Predisposition” kicked things out as if the band never stopped. What a powerhouse of an opener. Wilson and crew sound better than ever and I hate to say this, but I was pleasantly surprised about this. Like I should have even carried that thought.
Following up was “Galt’s Gulch”, a well put together track similarities gravitating towards an Ayn Rand novel. The fact they repeat “who’s John Galt”, which in the novel was about the sad current state of affairs much like today. “Atlas Shrugged” is the book I speak of, and if you ever read it, you’ll understand more.
One of my favorites on this album was “The Cutting Solution”. This track was well supplied with some insane drumming that just kept the energy high. Wilson’s singing was just so on point here.
“Theme” was just that. If the Bollweevils had their own show like the Aquabats do, this would certainly be the song that played at the start. Certainly, this a tongue and cheek track, but goddamn this was so fun.
Then there was “Bottomless Pit”, another banger. The entire band came together so well on this one. Fast and to the point, it was exactly what I would expect from these guys.
The track that just won me over was “Resistance.” In true punk fashion, this track had me wanting to memorize the lyrics so I could play it over and over while singing along. Loved the breakdown as well as the group vocals. It was not a complicated song yet got the job done.
“Liniment and Tonic” should be the old punker anthem moving forward. All the old punkers who are reading this with their arms crossed in the back, this one is for you. Enjoy.
The Bollweevils are timeless in my book. They have definitely put in their time years ago and Essentials has no indication of a break ever with their sound. They are still energetic and catchy as ever. Fair warning though, this album clocks in at just over 22 minutes. I assure you there is no lull in this release and there are plenty of playback opportunities.
As I find myself closer to 50 these days (punk is dad), it is beyond refreshing to hear a band from your teenage years still killing it. In a day and age when most punk rock does not even rest on the edge of the genre, it’s the punk rock veterans who continue to remind me why I adore this kind of music.
Available on CD and LP, the album is out there for you to obsess over. Do not sit on this one. Trust me.
Listen to it: CLICK HERE
Buy it: CLICK HERE