I’m proud to review Saginaw’s Finest Celt Punk band The Tosspints upcoming 2015 self-release, The Privateer, prepared to change the minds of many who don’t identify with Aggressive Folk, Irish Murder Ballads or Pirate Punk Rock music.
Combat veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the surprisingly sensitive Don Zuzula leads this powerful trio on Vocals, Acoustic & Electric Guitars and (don’t forget) Tin Whistle. Younger brother and history teacher Zak Zuzula on Bass and Vocals and the infamous John Johnson as their powerful Drummer round out the group. Natalie Beversluis is the violinist on the title track.
This ten song disc keeps up the heat throughout with a large dose of humor fueled by alcohol and angst, which is just right for the more distressed side of being human, with up tempo minor chord melodies infused by fears of war, loss, degradation, and as always, hard drinking. What makes this music different, though, is that these songs dig far deeper than head bangers - they are severely heavy earworms.
The song “My Last and Only Friend” raises a glass to a long familiar thread of alcohol lament; “The bar room on the corner is the church where I can worship / paying penance for the choices that have left me broke and worthless / I try to pray over that bottle and I find me self quite wordless / I think about just moving on and feel so f@%&ing nervous” - bringing hope as a four letter word to the many fans that follow this band.
The Chorus of “We Are The Many” reads like a 99 Percenter’s manifesto; “Cause we are the many and you are the few / you underestimate power just like you always do / we’ll take the fight into the streets / we’ll watch your money burn / you left us alone in the dark / alone in the dark”.
Marching On brings Johnny’s PTSD home to stay, showing that illuminating frustration may be the real battle of this fine band.
The Privateer closes the album with a 16 minute epic operatic punk rock saga about a young crew member of a privateering vessel who is lost at sea, including the sounds of sea swells, waves and artillery in the background while featuring Natalie Beversluis’ violin. It opens; “A Cock-Strong young lad of only sixteen / no trade no hopes no money / to a ledger signed my name / a price on my head / so I set out to sea / gunners mate a privateer / taken on to learn a sailors trade”. To the close; “Goodnight sweet ocean / I did love you so / with you I was angry / but now I do know / that you set me free / from worry and strife / gave this beautiful ending / to this beautiful life”. One can make comparisons to our current volunteer military.
It’s no wonder The Tosspints earned a finalist position in the 2011 John Lennon Songwriting Contest and their powerful fan support earned them a spot on the 2012 Vans Warped Tour Ernie Ball Stage and Alternative Press Magazine Detroit's Band of the Month for December 2012. This constant listener thinks there will be a new round of kudos for this over the top fourth studio effort.
The Privateer has a place in punk rock history.
Find The Tosspints “The Privateer” ready for pre-orders on Bandcamp or see them live at many venues this summer. Produced by Andy Reed and The Tosspints. Engineered by Andy Reed at Reed Recording Company in Bay City, Michigan. http://reedrecordingcompany.com/ Self-Released on East Grand Records. http://eastgrandrc.com/
Reverb Nation: https://www.reverbnation.com/thetosspints
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thetosspints
16th November, 2023
7th November, 2023