All Are Welcome

Lenny Lashley's Gang Of One

Pirates Press Records, 2019

http://lennylashleysgangofone.bandcamp.com

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 04/03/2019

While Lenny Lashley may not be a familiar name in many parts of the country, in the New England area he has been active for over two decades and has even played alongside The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Now, he’s the frontman of The New Darkbuster and guitarist for Street Dogs. On this sophomore solo album, Lashley largely steps away from the bristling punk sounds of his full band work and gets comfortable with more Americana influenced songs that still keep his punk roots intact. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Truth And Blood” starts the strong album with plenty of melody and grit, with raspy yet tuneful vocals, as organs, acoustic guitars, and backing vocals complement the passionate tune. “All Are Welcome” follows and brings a hint of Nashville influence into a sing-along punk 'n' roll gem, and “Live Like Lions” uses accordions and pedal steel to yield a calmer, warm atmosphere while “Lonesome” follows a similar path with an aching feel.

The back half of the album keeps the songwriting top notch with the moody rocker “Judy,” where saxophones make an appearance, the punchy punk rock anthem “Tomorrow May Never Come,” and the country-influenced, rootsy shuffling of “Double Miner.” The last two tracks point heavily towards Lashley's punk roots heritage with the charged and incendiary, gang vocals of “Revolution,” and even though “Weakness” is a breezy, folk-rocker, it retains the punk spirit and iconoclastic ideas that Lashley has built his art on.

Like many icons in the punk scene who have been banging away for decades, Lashley is embracing classic rock, country, and folk styles into his well thought out song craft that calls for unity in these times of societal divide. If you're a fan of what legends like Chuck Ragan, Tim Barry, and Brian Fallon are doing, and still spin your Springsteen and Petty albums, All Are Welcome deserves your full attention.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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