Stigma

New York Blood

Written by: PP on 07/11/2008 19:44:08

Vinny Stigma. That's a name that should stick out immediately to any punk slash hardcore fan out there, but perhaps it's been a while since his band has been relevant big time, so a short introduction is necessary for our younger readers. Vinny has fronted two of the three mightiest New York Hardcore bands of all time - Agnostic Front and Madball (For the curious ones, the third band is Sick Of It All) - and is considered to be like the grandfather of the genre. Pretty much every punk and hardcore band of this and the previous decade is either directly or indirectly influenced by Vinny's work.

So why am I babbling so much about Vinny and his past work? The answer is "New York Blood", Vinny's first ever solo album, a fairly decent NYHC album that underlines why bands like Agnostic Front and Madball have such a respected status today. Unsurprisingly, a fine mid point between those two bands is about how his solo album sounds like, which, I'm sure, is exactly what his fans want out of him as well. The "if it's not broken, don't fix it" ideology demonstrates its worth well here, but what makes it more impressive is that Vinny is an old man, you know, and yet he's still able to deliver the good ol' 80s hardcore sound pretty much exactly the same way as he did over two decades ago. To quote the man himself on at least 3 separate occasions during the album: "After all these years..."

Admittedly, the first couple of listens through "New York Blood" create about the same image as listening to any generic power metal/heavy metal band out, that this is a guy desperately trying to re-create the golden times of the 80s without doing a particularly good job at it. That the beginning of the album also sports the weakest songs doesn't help the cause much, but should you make it past track 5, that's where the really good stuff begins. Who can resist to the straightforward riffs and singalongable chorus of "Trouble", or Vinny's lecturing tone on "Still Crucified" when he's talking about freedom? "Turning The Tide" sounds like really early-NOFX (which was heavily influenced by Agnostic Front & Madball), and the cheerful "15 Pints" is suitable for any party: "15 pints and I'm still standing, get one for my friend, 15 pints and I'm still standing, don't let the good times end"... let's hope that Vinny (nor anyone else) doesn't let the good times of NYHC end either.

Download: 15 pints, Trouble, Still Crucified
For the fans of: Madball, Agnostic Front, early NOFX
Listen: Myspace

Release date 19.09.2008
I Scream Records

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