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Greg Antista and the Lonely Streets - Under the Neon Heat (Primal Beat)

19 July 2021

There’s a lot of L.A. rock history in this band’s DNA. Singer/songwriter Greg Antista fronted Joyride and played in Foxy, while his Lonely Streets – bassist Warren Renfrow, drummer Jorge E. Disguster and legendary guitarist Frank Agnew – have incredible resumés, playing with everybody from the Adolescents, Legal Weapon and T.S.O.L to Cadillac Tramps, the Hangmen and Manic Hispanic. That accomplished background funnels itself into almost a dozen cuts of heartfelt, no frills rock & roll. Antista’s songs combine the social justice-intensive lyrics and controlled passion of the members’ punk youth with tuneful, heartland rock melodies – it’s a familiar formula at this point, thanks to bands like Titus Andronicus and the Gaslight Anthem, but it’s rarely as fresh and unpretentious as it’s executed here. “Tijuana Jail,” “Halfway to Whole” and “Down On Commonwealth” – a song concerning a police brutality case in the band’s hometown of Fullerton – cover the fiery rock & roll side of things, while “Unfinished Business” and “Lonesome Casualty” breathe new life into the thoughtful, mid-tempo ballad. The record ends with a cheeky cover of Warren Zevon’s “Carmelita,” with new white trash parody lyrics written and sung by Renfrow, that somehow doesn’t sound out of place. Solid rock, indeed.