Article from Rawckus Magazine by Randy Radic.
The Borstal Boys – Don’t Let Life Pass You By
Pittsburgh’s seven-piece rock outfit – The Borstal Boys – premieres their new music video on Rawckus. It’s called “Don’t Let Life Pass You By.”
The Borstal Boys
“Don’t Let Life Pass You By” pays tribute to the significance of taking chances as they arrive, while simultaneously mulling over lost friends and missed opportunities.
Written by Rocky Lamonde, the song was recorded, discarded, reworked, and re-recorded three times. Finally ready for release, the song reveals the band’s perseverance and devotion to sonic perfection.
Made up of former members of Torn and Frayed, Dirty Charms, and Rusted Root, The Borstal Boys are: Rocky Lamonde (bass), Patrick Norman (electric guitar, acoustic guitar), Joe Pelesky (organ, vocals), Darryl Thumm (guitar), Scott Wilson (drums), Vinny Q (guitar), and Mark Ponsonby (lead vocals).
The band’s name was borrowed from a song by The Faces. The Borstal Boys’ sound revolves around blues-flavored, straight-ahead, rough and ready rock and roll. Blending influences from The Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, The Faces, and The Rolling Stones, the band released their self-titled album in 2018.
“Put seven gifted artists together and the result is a concoction that’s nonpareil.”
“Don’t Let Life Pass You By” opens on rollicking guitars and taut percussion reminiscent of “Keep Your Hands To Yourself” by The Georgia Satellites. Deliciously rasping, drawling, nasal-lite vocals infuse the tune with scrumptious twangy tones, as layers of harmonizing voices deliver the tasty lyrics.
A braying organ imbues the tune with oozing colors, giving the music scope and glossy depth. The bridge prior to the solo section rides a booming piano, shimmering guitars, and gospel-flavored choir-like vocals, while the solo section puts up a wall-of-sound pulsing with imposing dynamics.
The video exhibits the band’s instrumental virtuosity, and energizing intensity, as each member struts their individual expertise, even as the separate sounds coalesce into a gorgeously potent soundscape, giving credence to the old adage: the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. Put seven gifted artists together and the result is a concoction that’s nonpareil.
“Don’t Let Life Pass You By” is excellent, full of galvanizing harmonics, a tight and right rhythm, and charismatic vocals.
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