COMMONWEALTH, THE: Worst Things First: LP

Jan 30, 2019

Places with bloody histories of oppression and injustice often breed the strongest backlash, which is why some of the most underrated punk rock comes from the South. (Cases in point, ANTiSEEN and Dirty South Revolutionaries.) The Commonwealth has been a staple of the Charlotte, N.C. punk scene for years, but they only recently recorded their first EP, Worst Things First. Guitarist Simon Strivelli brings Irish influences to his vocal harmonies and to drummer Richie Greckie’s rolling, energetic, SoCal-style beats, the sum of which sounds like the Dropkick Murphys on skateboards. Daniel O’Leary’s bass lines dart swiftly in between galloping drums, adding grit and texture. Instrumental breaks between verses display the band’s raw musical chops, which come straight from the late ’90s punk era. And those angry shouts declaring working-class strife aren’t just talk—the guys live and breathe blue collar jobs and tenuous-at-best living arrangements. Worst Things First is the whole punk package, and it leaves you not wanting the party to end. –Michelle Kirk (The War Zone, [email protected],