The McGunks / Blog

Reviews of our TWO Live Cd's by Thrash-n-Bang

“Live For Five” and “Live Trash” two live cd’s by The McGunks What kind of band releases two live CD’s in one year? The liner notes of “Live Trash” leads off with that question and they give a pretty good explanation, but my answer would be this- A great fuckin’ live band! That’s who! A band who is one of the best live bands in New England. I’m sure modesty would prevent them for claiming this but “I calls them how I sees them” and I’ve reviewed this band live, many times, most recently on TNB. And in the end, you can have your favorite bands, I do as well, but live, I’ll put these guys up against any band we have on our site or probably ever will. McGunks music is about living in New England, or the East Coast; in the barrooms, in the dirty cities, in the brutal weather both outside yourself and in. No fuckin’ palm trees of Malibu or Florida here, no cornfields of Iowa or Nebraska either. You’ll hear none of that in the music here. But if you’ve been in a city and a city barroom, whether it’s Boston, Providence, New York City or Portland, Maine; this music should say a lot to you as it does to me. Working on another hangover/ Found myself getting lower and lower/ Making my way to the bottom of the barrel again/ The McGunks call themselves “Drunk Punk” and it’s a good description. “Rock N Roll Punk” is another good tag they use. I’d say they sound like early Clash, a bit of Social Distortion, and a whole heaping scoop of Irish tinged sing along Boston/New England punk. With song titles like, “Three More Beers,” “Working On Another Hangover,” “One For The Booze” and “Can’t Drink Here No More,” you might (hiccup) catch their drift. I think a big reason, beside the good songs, that they’re so good live is that they always exude a huge amount of energy. Not the fastest band, they never reach hardcore speed, but they’re always just bristling with energy and this translates into a fun, lively show. A trio, the lead singer/ guitarist Bob McGunk is not afraid to throw in a lead guitar hook or Hendrix like wah wah solo. Lots of folks think if Hendrix was still around today he’d be doing some avant-jazz type thing but I’m pretty sure he’d be mining the same turf these McGunks sow from. So on “Live For Five” after the first tune they go right into, “Maybe Tomorrow”- I’m trying/ I’m dying/ Maybe Tomorrow, gonna be another way/ Maybe Tomorrow, gonna be a better day/ – this song goes crashing headlong into, “Three More Beers”- Three More Beers will make me look better/ Three More Beers will make it alright/- and it’s a great start to a great set, once again. One thing about this band, as with their “brother” band, The Doll Eyes, (whose Phil McCafferty spent many years singing and playing along in the McGunks), is that no matter how jubilant and upbeat the music, the lyrics spin a bit more realistic, pessimistic take on things. Welcome to East Coast way of thought and living, folks. “Live For Five” has a little better sound quality and flow for me and “Live Trash” has only four songs not included in “Live For Five.” Of course, both pale in comparison to seeing them live but I’m happy to listen to them, on the rare occasion I might imbibe in alcohol in a private setting; in my rocking chair next to my squirrel infested fireplace, DAMN RODENTS! I only drink when I’m with people or when I’m alone and never while sleeping or when operating heavy machinery like my steam shovel. So either of these CD’s are good to have, especially if you can’t see them live enough, though it’s a shame if you can’t because this is a hard working band who play out frequently. Me, I can’t listen to this without picturing the moshing, the PBR’s raised high, the smiles and laughter, sweat flying, the insanity flowing from the stage through the crowd to the bar back where I’m usually sitting. At the very end of the second live album some girl in the crowd says, “You guys kick ass, thank you!” I want to end with that as well. (Jim Slimedog) www.thrashnbang.com

Live Review

Posted by Slimedog from Thrash-n-Bang (www.thrashnbang.com): The McGunks are next playing their “drunk punk” music, a label I wish I made up but they themselves did. Always a great live act as they are also, tonight. A trio, Bob McGunk handles the vocals/guitar quite well as Peter McGunk mans the bass. Besides filling up the musical space with his bass notes, Peter also does a great job rousing the crowd by bouncing his bass off his body, raising his fist while playing, letting the sonic boom notes ring out. And back on drums, Bobby McGunk ably wails away. Strangely enough, though all three guys have the same last name none are related! Always a fun band to drink along with.

CD Review 2 - Live for Five

THE McGUNKS Live for Five 14 tracks I can see everyone rolling their eyes and saying “We get it, you like the McGunks, enough already!” Please just hear me out though. I’m always raving about their live performances, but this CD shows how great they are live. A brief history of this disc: the McGunks played three shows within a 24-hour period, in three different states. They started in Rhode Island on Friday night; they then hit a matinee at the Midway, packed up as soon as their set was done to drive to New York for a closing spot at Arlene’s Grocery. The McGunks didn’t fit the bill at all that night, the other bands being a reggae band, and a soft pop band. They set up, played two chords, successfully clearing the room before the first song was over. That’s where the title comes from; they literally played Live for Five… people. It didn’t stop the band though. They played like there were a thousand people watching. I still highly recommend seeing them play live, but for those of you that think I’m crazy, or are cautious with seeing new things, just take a listen. If you like a band that plays great punk music, has a sense of humor, and really enjoys what they do. I guarantee that you will instantly become a fan of the McGunks. If you’re still not sold after listening this, go out and buy a case of the cheapest beer around, consume it while playing this as loud as possible with some of your closest friends, and that is exactly what you can expect from a McGunks show. Melvin O The Noise Boston

CD Review: The McGunks Live For Five

This is a review of our "Live for Five" CD by marc Clarkin for Motif magazine: The McGunks Live for Five CD To hold the masses over while The McGunks complete work on an EP of new material, the band has decided to put out a 14-track live CD called Live for Five. The back story behind Live for Five is that it was recorded this past November at Arlene’s Grocery in New York City. It was a curious bill that had The McGunks following what drummer Bobby Forand described as an “alterna-funk band,” a different world from the boozy punk rock The McGunks deal. The McGunks had to be on edge as they stormed the stage knowing this wasn’t their crowd but they had a chance to win them over as they plugged in. Were they successful? No, everyone left except for a handful of friends. This is what makes Live for Five such a curiosity, it’s from a show that even the people that paid the cover did not stick around for. What band would think a show like this merited being preserved as a live record? The answer is a band with a lot of Bobs (three) that live to rock. My initial skepticism of Live for Five was gone by the second cut, “Maybe Tomorrow,” that jumps out of the speakers with plenty of guitar fireworks and guitarist Drunk Robb’s gruff but serviceable harmonies. For that matter, all the vocals could be described as gruff whether it’s Drunk Robb or guitarist/lead singer Bob Kadlec but it works with The McGunks ragged glory pub-punk. The energy of this performance continues to build “Three More Beers” and “Who’s Laughing Now.” The immediate comparison that jumps to mind with The McGunks is Rancid but they also work in a Cheap Trick vibe on the outro for “Dead to Me.” There are no covers listed as being performed on Live for Five, which is strange because “Man on the Side” sure sounds a lot like the Supersuckers, while “Is Halford Gay” has more than just the title in common with Judas Priest. In fact, I could have sworn the closing “Roger’s Rooster” was gamblin’ Kenny Roger’s theme. However, it must all be in my head, because as Kadlec can be heard saying between songs, “I don’t know what you’re talking about, we don’t do covers.” Live for Five captures The McGunks at their peak. Those Brooklyn hipster suckers don’t know what they missed! The McGunks celebrate the release of Live for Five with Marks of Identity, Embedded, Reason to Fight, The Boardlords, and Full Clip at Firehouse 13in Providence on January 29th.

The McGunks in the Providence Phoenix

"Bobby Forand of THE MCGUNKS (the Providence "Kings of Drunk-Punk") informed us of an upcoming (as yet untitled) live album recently recorded at Arlene's Grocery in NYC, as well as a new EP to follow in March, with production from Phil Greene (Dropkick Murphys, Mighty Mighty Bosstones). Shows in Boston, NYC, and CT are lined up, and Forand said the band is ready to "log as many miles on the van as possible." The McGunks hit the 201 (with Girl Haggard) on January 15 and will play Firehouse 13 and Cumberland's Broad Street Tap at the end of the month; visit reverbnation.com/themcgunks for streaming cuts and updates."

Live Review - The McGunks with Powerman 5000, Irue & Stryk Nine

"It is a surprise that the McGunks are on this bill. They are known to be a very carefree fun, drunk punk band, whereas the rest of the bands are based more on the metal side. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t interested in seeing how they pulled this off. The McGunks step onto the stage, instantly breaking into blinding-fast riffs. They fit so many songs into their set that I couldn’t even begin to name them all. The band doesn’t stop. When Bobby the drummer loses his drumstick, sending it flying into the crowd, he smashes away with his hands till someone runs it back up to him. D-Robb grabs a beer from someone in the crowd, downing it as he keeps playing. Pete stands up on his monitor, punching his bass as he plays. The set ends abruptly and this crowd is stirred up. Not that I doubted them, but the Mcgunks more than held their own." Melvin O. The Noise Boston


"The McGunks are a solid punk rock foursome from Rhode island. They paid their dues by playing hundreds of shows all over the place, and their live set is poweful and tight as a result of this. They embody the honest, working class spirit that is at the heart of most good local puk rock. They sing of struggles with work and girlfriends, as well as the joys of drinking and friendship. Their two minute anthems are catchy and furious. The cover versions of Kenny Rogers and Judas Preist demonstrate their variety of influences. This is a great set of New England flavored punk rock. Crank up the McGunks !!" TJ Welch Sonic Lobotomy

McGunks Live Review

I am a huge fan of drunk punk, not to throw more titles on music, but that really is the best description for this. The best example of a great drunk punk band is the McGunks. Singer Bob McGunk starts playing his guitar, and about halfway through the song his guitar cable comes free and falls. Without missing a beat, he reaches down trying to plug in a cord he picks up off the floor. The guitar doesn’t make a sound, so he repeats this twice, finally finding the right cord just as the song ends. “Do you think Bon Jovi has these issues?” he asks, as the band plays the opening rift of “Living on a Prayer.” They play my favorite cover song, “Pretty Fucked Up” by the Supersuckers. “Three More Beers” gets the crowd singing along loudly. A bar regular who I call the Silver Fox jumps on the mic singing his own lyrics to the song, dancing the dance of one over-served. Bob tells us that only one country superstar has his own Roast House, and he starts naming off a list of singers that don’t have Roast Houses, leading into “The Gambler” by Kenny Rogers. One of the reasons that the McGunks are a great drunk punk band is that they are there to drink and have a good time; playing music is just a bonus. Another reason would have to be the fans, who are usually so drunk, that they have named the feeling after a McGunks show as McGunkitis. I’ve seen these guys several times, and have never had a bad time, but I have woken up with a bad case of McGunkitis. Melvin O. The Noise

Random Update

OK so... Honestly theres not a whole lot new going on here.... same old drunken shenanigans. We've got lots of cool shows coming up all over New England so theres no excuse for not being there. We've got a FREE show this Saturday in Worcester with Pete's old band, The Prozacs, an another killer show at Club Hell the following week on the 13th! See below for everything else that is confirmed to date. We've slowly been working on a McGunks "official" website because I know you get sick of all the ads and other BS on facebook & reverbnation. Does anyone use myspace anymore? We also have some new t-shirts being made up as well. They are 3/4 sleeve baseball jerseys in sizes medum to 4XL for you really really big guys (and gals). Front will be your typical cursive baseball style McGunks logo and the back will be printed with the number .08 for well... you know.. lets just call it a reminder. Also just got more copies of the 666 Spilt CD with Doll Eyes and Badblood & The Cruelty (who are playing this Sat with us!) in. $10 for the CD itself, or $15 for the CD and a t-shirt! What else.... Oh yeah. PLEASE help keep us at #1 on reverbnation.com... please share the widgets below. What in the fuck is a widget anyhow?? See ya.

The internet is complicated

Hey Everyone... So... we need a webpage, nothing fancy, just something basic that we can update with show dates, pictures, and news shit... Do you know anyone that can help us? We just struggle with this whole internet thing..... Also, looking at new merch ideas again.... We are working on 3/4 sleeve baseball jersey style t-shirts right now, thinking of getting the lighters again, possibly drink koozies as well.... Give us some input, what do you guys want?? Other than that weve been booking lots of shows for August, will be playing at a haunted hotel Aug 7th and our 1st show at Rebel Sound Records on Sept 12th. Take a look at www.mcgunks.com for more stuff... Thanks!