DEATH RIDGE BOYS: Boots on the Streets: CS

At the risk of editorializing, Portland in 2017 was a fucking nightmare. Out-of-state fascists routinely paraded through the city with impunity from law enforcement, facing off with black bloc antifa, who were regularly blamed for the violence that occurred. Police made it very clear who they sided with, metronomically assaulting and tear-gassing “normal” protestors who had come out to oppose fascist organizing. Trump was tacitly egging on white supremacy, both vocally and with government policy, and groups like the Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer gained a foothold in the city, due to a waffling mayor, “both sides” media, and a police commissioner who viewed leftists as the antagonists. I spent so much of that year furious and hopeless and struggling with what was happening in this city I loved. 2017 was also the year that Death Ridge Boys released their first record, Right Side of History, and I cannot tell you what a goddamn revelation it was. This band offered up that rarest of commodities—hope. Furious, gruff, pointed streetpunk with stridently leftist, antifascist politics. I listened to that album endlessly. In the interim they’ve released a bunch of fantastic 7”s and splits, and now this. Boots on the Streets features four originals and covers of the Big Boys, Wire, and 7 Seconds. It’s still catchy, still passionate, still topical, still just fucking relentless. Hands down my favorite Portland band, and I’ve loved everything they’ve put out. This one’s a burner. –Keith Rosson (Death Ridge Boys)