Planning to call it a day, Portland’s Danava have been at this for a long time. For proof, the first couple of things on “Live” are from way back in 2008. They evidently turned up in Dublin and began with a freak-out.  It turns into “Spinning Temple Shifting” and it – plus the other one from that show, “Maudie Shook” –  are groovers that clock in for 20 minutes.

The rest of it, by contrast, is from a gig last year in Prague. And even 15 years on, it is still all about the riff. “Shoot Straight With A Crooked Gun” evokes Cream and the heavy power of rock. 70s flavours abound on the likes of “Nothing But Nothing” too, while “Let The Good Times Kill” screeches its way through as Gregory Meleney and Kerby Strom lock into it and prove they are still formidable.

Aptly ending with “The Last Goodbye” – all Lizzy style twin guitars set against a proto-metal backdrop – whether you have been there since the start or Danava are a new name to you, you might as well get on board before they are gone for good.

Rating 8/10

Tony Lovato – who formed Mest some 28 years ago – reckons the inspiration for “When We Were Young” came from listening to the songs from when he was a kid in Chicago.

Wherever he found it from, they are making the same timeless pop-punk they were back then. “When We Were Young” and “Hate You Sober” would sit alongside all the music of that time with no problem at all.

The three minutes of “Barely Hanging On” will have you checking what’s your age again – if like me, you were 20 back in the mid-90s, while the acoustics and unashamed pop of “That Saturday” changes the vibe.

“Parking Lot” reflects, and finds some smiles and Mest who have toured with some of the most well-known punk bands of the era – and have Jaret Reddick of Bowling For Soup and Spencer Charnas of Ice Nine Kills on this too – might have grown up, but on this sugar rush of a seven tracker they are still, deep down, the same youth gone wild they always were.

RATING 7.5/10

After 30 years in Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Joe Gittleman has decided it’s time for this, and he’s drafted in all sorts of people to help.

Honestly, though, if you like Bosstones (and who doesn’t?) you’ll find much here to enjoy. “Glimmer” is bouncier than a two-year-old on a bouncy castle, the title track adds more Ska than The Specials, and “Red Polaroid Eyes” is a dip into reggae.

With punk, reggae, and ska covered you’d imagine that Gittleman is happy, and by and large that’s it. He does it superbly well. “No Reaction” – which features Michael McDermott on drums – is fun, and “Treadmill” seems to be as warm as a Caribbean breeze.

“Chores” has some lovely trumpet, and “Asked Politely To Leave” could have just about made it into the sessions for Springsteen’s “The River”.

The last one “For The Love Of Gino Mader” is perhaps the only ska song written about a cyclist (albeit one who tragically died) and if that’s a surprise then there aren’t that many here. Which is just fine.

Rather this is a celebration of a life in music, specifically this music, the music Joe Gittleman loves. It is able to “Hold Up” pretty well.

Rating 7/10

Best known for having Gary Wendt of Skinlab as their leader, The Ghost Next Door have – for the last decade or so – been delivering alt-metal with a Bay Area aggression.

What that means, in practice, is that album number three sounds a bit like Tool (but then of course, no one really sounds like Tool). “Asleep At The Wheel” lurks about in the shadows, but there’s a heavier side to things on “It Takes A Village” as Wendt and fellow guitarist Aaron Ashgari meld impressively.

And that heavier side extends to the oppressive lyrics on the likes of “Diatribe” too. “DK” has some more unsettling rhythms, there’s something of the soundtrack on “The Hit That Hits Back” as it’s so expansive, while there’s just an unspoken menace surrounding all of these – not least “First Person Shooter”.

A lengthy record by modern standards, at 13 songs, its beauty is in the subtlety of its changes of pace, like “Epitaph” or the rumble of “The Dividing Line”.

It’s clear that for “Classic Songs Of Death And Dismemberment” TGND had a clear idea of the way they wanted it to sound, and as “Wax And Wane” finishes things it’s also clear that they have pulled it off with a real skill.

Rating 7.5/10

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