Music » Band of the Week

First Offense

Rock 'n Roll Bad Guys (Step Up! Records)

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Like most Akron punks, the members of First Offense have made major indoor sports of drinking, fighting, and identifying with their underheralded hometown. The crusty quartet is so committed to the underdog theme that the odds-and-ends collection Rock 'n Roll Bad Guys starts with the theme from Rocky. For the tattooed street dogs, upending society is a nice idea (see "Let's Start the Revolution"), but they have to be at work in the morning, so the really rowdy business gets postponed until the weekend.

Putting down their PBR pounders, the bandmates spike their anthemic punk with shots of off-key Oi!, circle-pit hardcore, and five-second guitar solos. Completely unfettered by technique and melody -- that's a good thing -- a raspy Danny D dedicates "Till Death Do Us Part" to "the desperate and heartbroken, the hardworking motherfuckers drinking beer at the end of each fuckin' day," before launching into one gritty call-and-response chorus for the road: "I'm drunk/Drunk/Until I'm dead." Pretty good for a dead guy.

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