Continental

Millionaires

Written by: MN on 21/01/2015 19:55:09

Having reviewed Continental's debut release "All A Man Can Do", I was naturally inclined to have a listen to the follow up in form of "Millionaires". I sent my praises to Rick Barton for his honest and uncompromised approach to good old punk rock songwriting, especially for his natural sympathies to the working class, an area of inspiration of many Boston-based bands, including the larger than life (and previous colleagues of Rick Barton), the legendary Dropkick Murphy's. Rick Barton makes no explicit attempt to mimic the days spent with the Murphy's, rather his approach has abandoned the Irish element, but retained the crucial and essential folksy atmosphere ever so present in his songs. This is the music of the common man, and it retells the story of the mortal man that we can all relate to.

"Millionaires" pretty much continues where "What A Man Can Do" left off, yet the focus has moved a bit away from the punk facet and now sounds more "rock" oriented with elements of both Bob Dylan and Rolling Stones. Songs like "Busted" is an example of where Barton decides to opt for a more ballad-like approach, as the acoustic guitar carries the song and his gravelly voice creates a narrative easily relatable to many. Rick Barton's voice has matured on this record and it is clear that he also challenges his voice to different extents. For example, the song "Wasted" is an example that has Rick Barton barking like a man in his testosterone fueled 20's, despite reaching middle age. I really enjoy the way this song develops, its exponential tension is a creative suit for Continental's soundscape.

"1000 Miles" is anchored by his own son Stephen thumping away on bass. It is clear that the dynamics of this father/son project is that of a fruitful project in which they enjoy the process, which alludes to the album cover presenting the pair painting together, having some great father and son time, surely. "Hope" is a song that reminds me slightly of Social Distortion, but with a more rustic approach that even includes some background bongos to supplement that earthiness of the track. "Millionaire" is one of the faster tracks of the record where the drums gallop away while Rick sings of alcoholic inebriation and money. The album closer "Free" slows everything down and is a natural swaying track meant for afterthought.

I really do enjoy listening to Continental. It is easily digestible, but the lyrics are believably honest and at times show massive "folk song" potential. Had some of these songs been released in a decade where rock songs and their lyrics retained paramount importance, then perhaps Rick would be much more highly regarded than he is now. That being said, I don't think it is Continental's motivation to reach the stars, I think they are perfectly happy just jamming it out and writing some memorable songs for their fans.

8

Download: Fun Fun Fun, Busted, Punk Rock Girl
For The Fans Of: Social Distortion, Bad Religion, Chuck Ragan
Listen: facebook.com

Release date 14.10.2014
East Grand Record Company

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