When you’ve been in bands since 1977 there can be no disputing your knowledge having lived and seen the original punk rock explosion firsthand. Formed in Stockholm, Sweden in 2014, the members of 16 Ton Rockers can lay stake to that claim and new release Limited Edition DeLuxe pays homage to the sounds of 40 years ago.
Pistol A Go Go starts proceedings with a first verse namecheck of Andy McCoy and Hanoi Rocks, whilst the second mentions The Clash. Added with a chorus that shouts “All I wanted to be was a Sex Pistol for a day,” it goes without saying that I think you know which rock ‘n’ roll road we’re heading down. To complete the mêlée, if you close your eyes you’d swear Ed Tudor-Pole was on vocal duty.
To say 16 Ton Rockers play to their influences is an understatement. The title track has echoes of the Dead Boys on the Young, Snotty and Loud album, Shake, Riot and Roll features some Chinese Rocks “oohs” and “ahhs,” and Fight The Real N.M.E. turns to Stiff Little Fingers guitar upstrokes from a time when Jake Burns’ boys attempted that punky reggae party sound. The album has plenty of mid-song breakdowns to keep fans of The Ruts happy and Sunshine Stories is the pick of the punk rock pack for me with its schoolyard chant turned guitar part. Oh, and there’s time for a cover of Running Riot by Cock Sparrer.
Limited Edition DeLuxe was recorded live and it’s all the better for it. There are perfect imperfections with the odd drum beat missed amid the frantic tom rolls. ‘77 runs through 16 Ton Rockers’ blood. Yeah, we’ve heard it all before but the band are out there doing what they know and love, and for that credit must be given. For some, punk is merely a phase, but for these Swedes it is their life. If your feet are firmly planted in the true punk sounds of yesteryear, then 16 Ton Rockers may just be your new favourite band. Ginge Knievil