A record that starts with a spoken word bit that goes: “there comes a day, when you wake up to find you’ve got more dead friends than live ones. That day came for me twenty years ago” is already in the “uncompromising” category.

When you factor in this line before the end of the same first song: “All you sad death metal fans masquerading as hardcore, can get fucked.” Then you probably know the ballpark.

But then as the anthem – helpfully entitled “The Last Gasp Of Street Rock N Roll” – points out. “Oh, by the way, Ramallah is back….”

Ramallah is a band that was started in 2003 by Blood For Blood’s “White Trash” Rob Lind. They periodically resurfaced since – notably in 2015 with the harrowing “Land Of Nod”, a personal tale of drug abuse.

Now, they are back and they delivering 26 minutes of hardcore punk from the very top draw.

From Boston, but the anger that seethes, these songs were written in 2018/19 by Lind with Jason Eick but work like “I Don’t Believe (sample line : “do you believe in forever? I don’t even believe in tomorrow!”) is so nihilistic, so bleak, that it fits perfectly in the post-truth, Covid-19 world of right now.

And, yet, like Agnostic Front, these tales are incredibly accessible. “Dead Boys And Dead Girls Anthem” (which has been on their bandcamp page for ages) could whip up a mosh pit in a morgue, but there’s a melody and a hook – crikey it even has a “na, na, na” bit!

“City Boy” which has a casual kind of violence, and bass line that suggests at any point they might start singing “here we are now, entertain us”, is more mid-paced, but a listen to the lyrics suggests a rel nightmare.

“I Seen You Crawling” carries on the change of tone, a little anyway, but is a mighty slice of punk rock (complete with a “hey, ho, lets go “ lick) but you won’t get the melody out of your head.

“The Times We Had” finds the reflective feel that many of the eight tracks have. Like it wants to tell its youthful self about the mistakes that were made, and if many of them have been throttled back, then “Bye Bye” makes it clear. You can still do powerful with an acoustic ballad, that’s for sure.

“The Last Gasp of a Wasted Youth and Wasted Life” encourages us to “rise motherfuckers in a final hymn”, but even if this is the end for Ramallah, then its not. Not really. Because it’s clear that this music, and moreover, this struggle coarses through the veins here.

“I sold my soul,” sings Lind, “for this white trash rock n roll”. And that’s the point. When its do or its die, then your only option, perhaps, is to go wild in the streets.

Rating 8.5/10

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