Nashville protopunk Ron Gallo is ready to give you an earful about the world’s problems | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Nashville protopunk Ron Gallo is ready to give you an earful about the world’s problems


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Ron Gallo channels his contempt for the world into the songs that fill last year’s Heavy Meta (New West), a snarling assault on selfishness and phoniness set to sharp, ringing 70s protopunk. The former Philadelphian moved to Nashville in 2014, leaving behind the destructive relationship that haunts the album’s reflections on emotional abuse (“Young Lady, You’re Scaring Me”), romantic atrophy (“Put the Kids to Bed”), and self-medication (“Kill the Medicine Man”). He can’t contain his sarcasm on the epic closer “All the Punks are Domesticated,” where he lobs searing criticism at a vision of artistic maturity where onetime rebels neuter their ideals in pursuit of the marketplace. That anger is also directed at irresponsible parents in “Why Do You Have Kids?” While his lyrics might be heartfelt, they also scream a sort of privilege that grows tiresome by the end of the recording, suggesting that Gallo is incapable of seeing any perspective than his own—a bummer that no amount of stinging guitar licks can salvage. He has a reputation for summoning the go-for-broke spirit of early punk in his performances—too bad he also invokes the narcissism.   v

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