After cascading across more than enough veins of Punk-rooted cheeky grins and stoic stances, borts and Preach This! are soon to emerge from the Lockjaw Records vault. From the jabbing, heavy-set punch of Bad Religion onward to gritty charged Folk-isms and the encroaching playful nature of Indie and a few rounded Alt. Rock rumbles, borts are no one trick pony. This, in a writhing nutshell, is borts. However, just for Lockjaw-continuity, there is obviously an occasional segue into a Skate Punk drumbeat. Naturally.
Now, load the Spruce Moose with bort license plates and collect your older, balder, fatter son and let’s get on with it. And now, say cheeeeze!
Preach This! opens over sombre notes loaded with a borts-brand internal splurge. ‘Creeps Gets Beats’ opens the band’s full-length storytelling poignantly with a sardonic lacquer. Preach This! then revisits the inventively titled EP1 from 2020 with ‘Like, Music Again!’, an anthem pertaining to that which inhibits the band’s love of music. Track two is hard not to like lyrically. We all wish could sack off work and other commitments to fully push for what we love and borts have simply written, an exuberant, rabble-rousing deceptively heavy Punk-song about it. Music keeps us going, I’m told.
On ‘Snow In Hell’ borts’ Indie-Punk advances slowly and playfully as their navigation of life, love and parties is narrated. Track three is nothing if it isn’t memorable. The quickfire and most recent single, ‘Get Sold’ charges off on a welcome and timely deviation in tone in its Skate Punk verse. The band then fall into a better representation of their harmonic vocals as Direct Hit!-esque Pop-Punk owns the chorus. borts have an innate need to show their wide array of influences and their second run of Pop-Skate Punk boasts a meandering lead line further tieing you in place. The three-piece then cleverly place a semi-covert classical wobble post-chorus, just because. ‘Get Sold’ may have nothing to offer those it encounters lyrically but it certainly does stylistically, standing as a release highpoint.
2020’s ‘Broke Alone’ persistently perpetuates this ’90s Punk penchant with a heavy, Bad Religion-esque lumbering step to punching forward motion and marks another arguable best of borts. ‘The Nurse’ shuffles along sharp but melodic Folk-Pop-Punk in complete and utter contrast. Whether this is a negative is down to the beholder but via my ears, this is just borts being borts. Shamelessly, I might add. However, borts do eventually leave this twinkly Folk-Pop-Punk aside favouring a heavy-set groove cataloguing inner-cranial turmoil. See below and see Here for the video for ‘The Nurse’.
‘Keeping The Alive’ retrospectively and introspectively with an extrospective sponsor and strong focus on the middle one (still with me?) marks some of borts’ best lyricisms. The band craft sing-a-long Punk in their multifaceted stylistic jaunts and yet still despite the risk, maintain cohesion. Preach This! is a collection of “life songs”, with each individual soliloquy of sorts suiting its own noise. ‘Los Zapatos’ reasserts the trio’s awareness of Pop-Punk cut with a grizzled maturity attempting to sequester the band’s more abrasive Punk streak. The sheer dichotomy in tone between the band’s stargazing lead and classic Punk bass is a high and positive low-point respectively.
I could well be going insane at this point of the record but the Bad Religion-isms return within the intro of ‘Welcome Break’. The trio’s 1:09 and its placement as the penultimate blast is a fitting deviation. That said, by now, you’ve come to expect a seemingly random successor to whatever style borts push per track anyway. Whether borts’ ambitious stylised hop is going to be an issue or not is entirely up to those fleshy noise-guzzling things on the side of your respective craniums.
‘Me & The Demons’ then takes a sardonic (again), cathartic approach as it admits how it really isn’t helping itself. Misery indeed loves company and yet motivation and determination still try to make a break. It’s a vicious cycle that borts are open about but remain stuck within, especially with the all too similar backdrop of a supernaturally charged sense of reality. ‘Me & The Demons’ references bassist Tom’s obsession with horror films and how Pop-culture can merge with our own life drama to varying results. Resonation is a dastardly thing. As per usual though, borts’ story is beckoning regardless of personal inspiration.
borts and Preach This!, the real question is, is it any good? Well, honestly, Preach This! is not only representative of Lockjaw’s broader goals, but is impeccably well done. It is true that the band are an amalgamation of styles and its jaunts can seem a little jarring, but in truth, its never an issue for more than a few seconds, quickly morphing into a proud success. Preach This! is a collection of songs pertaining to life and you’re more than likely to resonate.