Burlington's Tired of Trying are among the unsung heroes in the local hardcore punk scene. Comprising the singly named Dave, Eric and Mike, the band trades in working-class anthems loaded with ballsy vitriol. Their latest, One Good Day, boasts seven in-your-face musical bruisers that come on like an ornery drunk at a dive bar.
Tired of Trying's sound is of the vintage hardcore variety. While other bands explore tricky time signatures and melodic vocals, TOT keeps it real with enormo riffs and thunderous rhythms. It's the audio equivalent of red meat, served with a pint of Guinness.
Opener "Red Cent" roars out of the speakers with double-time percussion blasts and guitars the size of China's Great Wall. The tune is a raging condemnation of charity, from the standpoint of a person without a penny to spare. Bassist/vocalist Dave spits lines such as "Don't ask me what I got, 'cause I ain't got a fucking red cent," over the tune's metallic thunder. His torn-throat staccato is somewhat reminiscent of Boston howlers such as the Mighty Mighty Bosstone's Dickey Barrett and Dropkick Murphys' Matt Kelly.
"As the Day Is Long" utilizes a stun-gun guitar figure to muscle its way into your mind. As drummer Mike relentlessly pounds the skins, guitarist Eric fires off speedy riffs and explosive breakdowns. All the tricks in the hardcore handbook are employed, from stinging pick slides to double-bass drum rolls. It's a solid, if traditional, example of impassioned punk rock.
The chorus of "Sorry" is surprisingly melodic, with Dave's gruff bark taking on a strained, singsong quality. While the vocal is a little rough around the edges, at least it's not the auto-tuned embarrassment found on Good Charlotte records.
"Not My Problem" is my favorite cut. "Your parents don't want you to go to the show, but that's not my problem / You're looking for work but the factory's closed / Everybody seems to think we give a damn," Dave growls intimidatingly over an Aerosmith-gone-Cro-magnon riff. The tune also features a particularly hot guitar solo. It's the only one on the record.
I'm glad to know that bands like this still exist. In their brutal simplicity, Tired of Trying are millions of miles from skinny-tie 'n' mascara-wearing suburbanites masquerading as punk rockers. Hear for yourself on Friday, Dec. 16, at Burlington's 242 Main.