Diesel Boy Return With An Evolved Punk Tinged Sound On “Bismarck” Diesel Boy
Label: SBÄM Records
Reviewed by Sam Lowry

Diesel Boy is a classic 90’s punk who return with a brand new track that combines their signature sound and little bit of Indie Rock for a more mature classic track.

Diesel Boy is a band that has been around for 30 years and still can write exciting punky garage rock and is aging like fine wine with a new track that rivals some of the greats like Guided By Voices and Built Spill but less indie and with more of a pop punk edge. It’s like when you graduate from Blink 182, Diesel Boy’s sound is a more mature version of punk rock. It’s Descendants but grittier or The Hold Steady but punky. It’s hard when a band survives three decades in the music industry to make modern comparisons since the band was obviously influenced from more 80’s things when they started. A band like this has been slugging away at it for years on a host of labels from Fat Wreck to Honest Don’s.

The years of touring with everyone from NOFX to The Atari’s has made the band well rounded and force to be reckoned with. It’s a shame these guys weren’t bigger as they made punk rock in a unique way that holds up the same back then as it does now. It’s interesting when you keep a band going from your college days into your 40’s and beyond. To keep that vision enduring is no small feat. The band says of their newest single “Bismarck” that it is the start of a new era for the band. The band has said “A lot has changed since Diesel Boy last made a record. Three presidents have been sworn in, its members made five kids, the record business collapsed--, oh and there was that pesky pandemic. But after twenty years away, the beloved punk rock quartet is back with a new record, their first shows in decades, and a fresh outlook on playing music.”

"'Bismarck' is an amalgam of memories about moving to Seattle 20 years ago, a big life change for me. Some of the details are real – there was an actual postcard from a girl I was crushing on, while other details are metaphors for the city itself. Both the girl and my new home struck me as beautiful in similarly unconventional ways. We hadn’t planned on having a woman sing on the track, but Matt Bayles, who produced the record, came up with the idea, and when he suggested Kim Warnick of seminal Seattle pop-punk band The Fastbacks, it was a no-brainer. It completed the circle some 22 years later," says Dave Lake.

Like a lot of bands through the Covid era, Diesel Boy realized after time locked away from the rest of the world how much they missed playing and connecting with fans. Just on Spotify the band has millions of streams which is proof of their longevity. However the band felt the need to grow and produce new music instead of just going out and playing old songs.

Now based in Seattle, returning members Diesel Dave (vocals and guitar) and Greg Hensley (bass) are joined by Chad Philipps (guitar) and Christopher Thomas (drums), two rad dudes whose musical chops add new layers to the band’s skate punk sound. The quartet holed up in Christopher’s basement and began assembling the dozen songs that make up their fifth album, “Gets Old,” their first since 2001. Though the band’s lineup has changed, the songs are classic Diesel Boy. “Gets Old” manages a delicate high wire act, balancing the snarky and the sincere, the melodic and the muscular. The album is littered with the band’s trademark pop culture references and features songs about music festival bros (“Festival Summer”), sad black metal fans (“Corpse Paint Blues”), chess-playing automatons (“The Turk”), and fellow songwriters who died too soon (“Two Stones”). It was produced by Matt Bayles, known for his work with Pearl Jam, Mastodon, and Botch, who leans equally into the guitar-heavy sound he is known for while flexing his pop sensibilities. The album is a whole lot of fun, showcasing a musical evolution that simultaneously picks up right where Diesel Boy left off. The first single “Bismarck,” is a pop-punk banger featuring a guest appearance by Kim Warnick of legendary Seattle band The Fastbacks.

To support the album, Diesel Boy will hit Europe this summer, playing the Brakrock, Punk Rock Holiday, and Tells Bells festivals, as well as several headlining shows. The band will also play stateside before they depart, with dates in their now-home of the Pacific Northwest to follow.

Tour Dates:

07.07.23 Portland, OR @ Dante’s with Versus the World, Dead Bars

08.07.23 Seattle, WA @ El Corazon with Versus the World, Dead Bars

04.08.23 Duffel, B – Brakrock

05.08.23 Neunkirchen, D – Rock Your Holidays w/ Urethane & more

06.08.23 Düsseldorf, D – Pitcher w/ Versus The World

07.08.23 Berlin, D – SO36 w/ Good Riddance

08.08.23 München, D – Unter Deck w/ Shöck

09.08.23 Wien, A – Rhiz w/ Versus The World

10.08.23 Tolmin, SLO – Punk Rock Holiday

11.08.23 Villmar, D – Tells Bells Festival

12.08.23 Stuttgart, D – Goldmarks w/ Urethane

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