Typically we don’t think of Glasgow when we think of punk rock, yet 4 piece punk unit 4 Past Midnight set out long ago to change that.
Formed back in 1989 and recognised as “one of the most innovative and ground breaking punk bands to come out of the Scottish scene,” 4 Past Midnight are now back with their latest album, Life On The Inside. Stating themselves that they offer up a “much loved sing a long style punk rock”, the guys take influence from the likes of The Ramones, Bad Religion, No Use For A Name, Dead Kennedys and Neil Diamond (errr…..) to produce a sound that mixes punk and rock in their own style, and is designed to continue to keep Glasgow a place on the map where the music scene continues to thrive. Packed with 15 tracks of their self-styled Glaswegian punk-rock – how is a band who were there at the high point of real punk going to fair in the modern world?
Quite simply – very well indeed. There’s an indisputable nod to the originators of punk as Broken launches things into being, packing the opening moments with gravelly vocal lines, chunky guitar work and bass heavy rhythms, evoking images of packed out smoke filled clubs and thronging crowds of people, the sort of mix that’s impossible to sit still to. Being punk there’s a real rough edge to the mix on offer, the result being something that’s real, something that captures the sound of the band as you’d expect them to sound on the live scene, and a feeling that there’s a real sense of provenance to the music. Nightmare and Any Other Way (I guarantee you’ll be singing along to this one after seconds!) both continue this approach with aplomb, ensuring that the listener is kept engaged from the word go.
Throughout the album we’re shown 4 Past Midnight’s solid chant along take on punk, getting the listener involved and having you singing along before you know it. Tracks like Story Of My Life almost give you a feeling of being there with the band, whilst others such as The Truth Is Out There and What You Gonna Do simply hammer out good old punk rock that gets the speakers cranked, and the good times rolling. Throughout all of it though there’s one thing that’s very clear, this is music that’s going to be best consumed on the live scene. It’s music that’s going to get you drinking, get you moving, get you in the pit, but most of all leave you knowing you’ve had a damned good time – and quite simply, that’s the most important thing.
With very few bands lasting as long as 4 Past Midnight, it’s awesome to see some of the originators of the punk rock genre producing new music for a new generation. Even more pleasing to hear though is that they’ve stuck to their guns, stuck to what they know, and put together an album that’s going to be lapped up by all who come across it.
Words: Dave Nicholls