Thursday 22 November 2018

New Junk City - Same Places

Labels: Real Ghost Records
Formats: Vinyl
Release Date: 12 Oct 2018


1. Useless Friends
2. High In The Morning
3. Half Life
4. Stay Asleep
5. Losing Side
6. Come Tomorrow
7. Coffee Mug
8. In Our Blood
9. Nothing Waiting

Finally, a free evening. It's grey, wet and cold outside and I'm beyond tired, so I thought some good old US punk might cheer me up. Punk in the form of Atlanta, Georgia (US) band New Junk City. New Junk City released their debut self-titled album in October 2014 and later released two splits including one for the All In Vinyl series earlier this year. Roughly four years on from their debut, they've released "Same Places" via UK label Real Ghost Records.

Rock n roll swagger and garage punk honesty make “Same Places” a really fun album to stick on when you need a boost. Album opener Useless Friends is filled with distorted guitar work and uptempo percussion that brings the energy while the vocals are clean but not sugary-sweet. There’s a typical US country vibe to High In The Morning, which isn’t surprising. It’s a vibe that’s worked so well for a lot of big US punk bands, but New Junk City doesn’t overdo it and weaves it into their sing-along anthems well. The restrained instrumentation of Half Life with its vocals that verge of semi-shouted at times shows a different dynamic and brings to mind earlier Rise Against/The Killing Tree. 

Stay Asleep reminds me that I actually need/want sleep so badly! Jokes aside, it’s slower tempo is anything but sleep inducing, as New Junk City manages to write a song with pop-hooks aplenty and a chorus that screams live sing-along, The bass line that kicks off Losing Side could be seen as ominous but there’s no chance of the band breaking into any kind of hardcore stomp. In fact it’s longer than the other songs on “Same Places” meaning that there’s more room for them to flex their instrumental muscles. They do that by adding in longer musical passages and layers of feedback. Come Tomorrow features a more off-kilter tempo, while telling a story and conjuring up images of Americana and long road trips.

The band’s driving punk is back with Coffee Mug. It’s hard at this point not to get misty-eyed or lost in the moment, which is what good music does. The laidback feel that you get from this record is what makes it so listenable. Penultimate song In Our Blood is New Junk City’s ballad. Every melodic band seems to have one and they always seem to get buried in your head. Its emotion is palpable and it’s sensitivity come straight from the real life experiences on the band. Closing with Nothing Waiting, New Junk City end with a higher intensity and with one final lung-busting performance. Nine songs that seem to fly by. This album is a fantastic example of punk that’s not pretentious and that doesn’t strive to sound like something else. It’s original and honest, making New Junk City a band that you’ll return to over and over again. 

You can stream "Same Places" and grab it via digital download here:-

Vinyl copies can be ordered from Real Ghost Records here -

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