There are few men on today's punk scene who can compare with Roger Miret. He has been a force to be reckoned with, and a writing machine, since forming the NY hardcore band Agnostic Front in the early 1980s. His work has always been inspired, passionate, fiery and his fourth album, Gotta Get Up Now, set for release January 25, 2011 on People Like You records, with his "other" band, the Disasters, has proven once more that Roger Miret is, without doubt, the epitome of punk musicians.
For those familiar with the groundbreaking and volatile history of Agnostic Front, one of the first of the New York City hardcore punk bands and one of the bands embraced and beloved by CBGB's Hilly Kristal, there might be an expectation that the Disasters would follow similarly, the bruising, confrontational, working class ideal that was created and maintained over decades by their apotheosized leader, Roger Miret. Yet that assumption would quickly be dashed by anyone who understood, even moderately, the true musical brilliance and passion that has made Roger Miret one of the most prolific, influential and versatile songwriters to emerge from Gotham's mean streets.
For all the ways that the Disasters are nothing like Agnostic Front, there are just as many connections that they share, mainly in their devotion to the punk tradition, their reverence of those who inspired them and the passion and energy of their delivery. In a world where punk has become a commercial enterprise, the Disasters are one of the few bands who can still hold the title with any sort of street integrity. They aren't worried about being cool or being popular—and that is exactly what makes them so. They embody the punk attitude that is so sorely missing in punk music today. They don't need you to like them; they don't expect you to get them. They just want to get their message, their thoughts, out there as they always have—through their music—and they don't care whether you approve of them or what they have to say. Odd as the idea has ever been, that is exactly why people admire Roger Miret: he is the voice of the rebel inside us all.
Never one to sheathe his message in "double entendres" and fuckwittery, Roger Miret's songwriting on Gotta Get Up Now is simple, succinct and pointed. Songs like the album's opener "Stand Up and Fight," "The Enemy," "Red, White and Blue" and the first release from Gotta Get Up Now, "We're Gonna Find a Way," are the type of emblazoned, fiery anthems of unity that can rarely be created, or trusted, outside of the old punk brigade. They epitomize the provocative spirit that was born in the UK with bands like The Clash and the Sex Pistols and which flourished unchecked once it found its way across the pond and into the streets, the alleyways and eventually into the hearts of America's defiant, rebellious youth. Such anthems lack the credibility to move anyone to action when delivered by pseudo-punk pop stars. Only men who have spent their lives playing for the next gig, saying what they mean and with enough conviction to fight for what they believe in, can deliver that sort of anthem of defiance and make you feel it.