LOS ANGELES, CA- Hot on the heels of “Ignore Heroes,” the biopic directed by Jack Grisham, TSOL has released a new album on Kitten Robot Records. This album, titled “A-Side Graffiti,” is their first full-length release since 2017’s “The Trigger Complex.” It is a compilation that brings together singles and some covers the band has released over the past few years and includes some never-before-released material as well.

It’s refreshing to hear new material from bands that have been together for over 40 years. I believe this disc captures the spirit of the True Sounds of Liberty well. The lead single, “Swimming,” was released early to the public, allowing fans and filmmakers the opportunity to create and submit videos to coincide with its release. The videos were posted on the band’s social media pages, and the winner received a huge shout-out from the band.

The tracks primarily feature original members Jack Grisham, bassist Mike Roche, and guitarist Ron Emory. They also include current drummer Antonio Hernandez and long-time keyboardist Greg Kuehn, who stands out on the band’s reworked rendition of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World.” The covers on this album are wild and unexpected. This track, along with Jack’s side project, Jack Grisham and the West Coast Dukes, doing a rendition of David Bowie’s “Can You Hear Me,” highlights his silky smooth and soulful vocals. Their audacious cover of “Sweet Transvestite” from The Rocky Horror Picture Show features Jack as Dr. Frankenfurter and special guest vocals by Keith Morris of the Circle Jerks/Off as Brad. It boasts all of Tim Curry’s sass and swagger, combined with Jack’s own commanding style over Ron’s thundering guitars, and Mike and Antonio’s powerful rhythm section. The last cover is a funky take on Amerie’s “1 Thing,” which is so danceable, it will have you shaking your money maker as you listen.

The album is not devoid of the punk rock nuances that are the legacy of the band, with tracks like the opener “Low, Low, Low,” which is a crunchy way to start the album. It delivers a potent shot of the band’s full power, which fans have come to expect. The follow-up, “Rhythm of Cruelty,” has the classic punk swagger that many British bands from the ’70s were known for. “Nothing’s Ever Right” is a danceable track with a poppy feel, beginning with a syncopated drum line.

“Ghost Train” and “Never Go Home” both have that anthemic feel and conjure images of coming-of-age movies where the protagonist reaches an impasse in their life, dancing away or gearing up to confront their demons head-on. “The Way You Groove” is a straight-up banger that can get the pit moving right from the start.

From young mavericks to elder statesmen of punk, TSOL takes a strong stance with “A-Side Graffiti.” The album is a robust effort that contains something for everyone, from die-hard fans to casual listeners, and it has the potential to attract new followers. TSOL has always been a band that pushes boundaries and refuses to stay within a single genre, with witty lyrics and thoughtful perspectives. Their Bowie-esque approach, in my opinion, has met with some resistance from naysayers and gatekeepers who claim the band has lost its punk rock roots. I contend that their ability to diversify and transcend genres is the most punk rock thing they can do—staying true to themselves. Their credo has always been clear throughout their career: “Live your life, ignore heroes, fuck the system, wake up the silent majority, and experience the True Sounds of Liberty.”

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T.S.O.L.'s "A Side Garffiti". Album Art
T.S.O.L.’s “A Side Garffiti”. Album Art