There are many recurring themes in Rock & Roll, and music as a whole. One story as old as time is talented youth who let heroin keep them from the world at their fingertips. Heroin’s ability to make its mark across almost all genres and cultures shows that the drug truly does not discriminate. Jimi Hendrix, Bradley Nowell, Sid Vicious and Kurt Cobain had very different musical and cultural backgrounds, yet all fought with the same demons. Southern New Jersey-based punk rockers Gutter Drunk seem to be the antithesis of this often tragic story. The group’s founders, Will Boothby and Tom Flynn, have both battled with substance abuse. Instead of letting their music careers get cut short by their vices, it seems their newfound sobriety has given them the push they needed to hone their talents and tell their story.
Boothby is what I would call an all-purpose punk rocker. A talented surfer, skateboarder, musician, and tattoo artist, Will truly embodies the culture–right down to his cut-off jean vest. As the band’s rhythm guitar/lead vocalist, Boothby brings an authentic, gritty sound to Gutter Drunk. It’s reminiscent of that one uncle you have who is totally cool now, but when he tells a story you just think, “man, this guy has been through some serious shit!”
Gutter Drunk has a unique folk twist to it, almost like a punk cover of an old campfire tune. This is largely in part to Banjo-wielding lead guitarist Tom Flynn. Flynn, a Lifeguard/EMT in Atlantic City, also draws influence from the time he spends surfing and fishing in the area. His love of the outdoors shines through on the track “In The Pines”. The band’s lineup is rounded out by Brad Jones on the Bass and Jim Chivalette on the drums. Jones really gives Gutter Drunk a full sound, most noticeable on their latest track “Scumbag Dereliction”. Chivalette splits time between Gutter Drunk and his guitar/vocals gig in the slightly more thrash-heavy group No Comply.
Gutter Drunk has gained notoriety outside of their home base with the help of longtime friend Ben “Gravy” Graeff. Gravy, a professional surfer and 1/3 of the YouTube sensation Nub TV, is currently nearing the end of his 365-day video log. During the earlier days of the Vlog, you get a behind the scenes look at the formation of Gutter Drunk, their recording process, and the emotions that go into their music. Even now, with 11 tracks recorded, you can regularly hear Gutter Drunk as the background tune to some gnarly East Coast barrels on the Nub TV YouTube channel.
Although none of their tracks have been released under the umbrella of one project, this gives the group a high ceiling for what they can do in the future. I hope to see more creative, and ironic, playing of the spoons, as heard on the tune “Dirty Heroin”. Gutter Drunk is a compelling new sound out of the Atlantic City area that can truly relate to the pitfalls of the area, and the potential for re-birth that comes from it. I will definitely tell you this is first class Dank Muzik material, but if you asked them, they would simply reply, “GUTTER DRUNK SUCKS!”