Antagonizers ATL: Street Punk Kings March On

Maybe it’s just because everything else has become so watered down and meaningless, but the “street punk” pumped out by bands such as Antagonizers ATL just sounds like rock ‘n’ roll music to me, or at least regular old meat ‘n’ potatoes punk rock. But maybe that’s the point. There’s no dickin’ around involved, no arty embellishments or corporate appropriation. At a time in history when Miley Cyrus gets kudos for supposedly putting out a punk album, the contrast between such an abomination and the blue-collar basics of the new Antagonizers album Kings is as sharp as a switchblade.

“When you see us comin’, ya best start runnin’!” the gang hollers in arms-linked solidarity on the title track, and now that there’s six of ‘em, maybe we should. Antagonizers ATL have shifted and expanded by 50% over the past year, first with Don Tonic coming in on drums, moving former drummer Eric Antell onto second guitar. Then Wynn from Fatskins (the name probably means more to you than me) took over on bass, prompting suddenly-former bassist Billy Fields to introduce his trusty Nord keyboard into the rumpus, where it adds a “Roadrunner”-style garage groove to opening stomper “Worries.” The remaining positions remain stable and steady: lead guitarist Richard Henderson absolutely rips his Gibson SG dizzy, while frontman Bohdan Zacharyj barks and bellows with an unchained, unrelenting drive, toppling lagers and laggers a hundred feet away.

Every song on Kings is an “us against the world” blue-collar anthem, in fact there’s even one called “Us Against the World.” The support group reinforcement is strong throughout, particularly on “Hold On Hold Strong,” which somewhat unexpectedly lurches into a reggae smash-n-grab from Monty Neysmith of British band Symarip mid-song.

The 10-song platter is available from San Francisco’s Pirates Press Records on gold, black or clear/red/gold splatter vinyl. Completists should note that Antagonizers ATL also contributed the new non-LP track “A Way of Life,” to the recently released Pirates Press compilation Oi! This is Streetpunk 2020 compilation. In a world where “don’t tread on me” is considered “problematic” and Miley’s a punk, you better get it while you can.