They're the sons of welders, machinists and roughnecks: local punk
rock musicians who sing of hard work and self-pride. The Booked is a
5-piece Streetpunk/Oi! band out of Corpus Christi, Texas, with an
underground following that's youthful, rebellious and worldwide. The
music hugs the working class landscape of the city's Northwest, where
farms, refineries and suburbs collide, exposing gaps in income and
class. "We're regular working class guys. We sing about life, beer,
friends, girls, jobs," said Trey Garcia, the band's 27-year-old lead
singer. "It's what we relate to. Like, what else is there in life?"
FEEL THE PRIDE, the debut record for The Booked, answers that question with 13 anthems for the working man, heroes who work to give their families all they can. "[The music] is about the constant struggle
to stay above the poverty level," drummer Danny Chapa says, "yet it's
positive." Singer Garcia's unusually melodic voice recalls early
Dropkick Murphy's best Oi! sentiments; shouts and chants deliver the
lyrics, while the rhythm leans heavily on a doubled guitar attack,
bass and drums. The songs on FEEL THE PRIDE epitomize the "Oi!"
spirit, with references to classes, workers, strength through unity,
fighting and soccer throughout.
The members of The Booked banded together almost two years ago,
five musicians out of Calallen High School. Lead singer/songwriter
Trey, grew up in 4-H clubs. He says he can judge dairy cattle as well
as he can sing. His 23-year-old brother Bryan, guitarist and
songwriter, and other band members, played varsity soccer at Calallen,
a sport that gave them inspiration for the name of their band. The
name comes from the soccer term for being put in a book when a player
commits a particularly harsh foul. "Soccer is an outcast sport in
America and so is punk," Bryan Garcia says. The Garcia brothers are
joined by Danny Chapa, 21, on drums, Randy Gaines, 20, on bass, and
Ray Solis, 22, on guitar. "Their ties to Calallen solidified the
direction of the music," said Garcia, "we're all from the same scene,"
he said. "It's a bond that can't be broken."
Last year, the band sent a demo tape to Radical Records, the one
great Punk/Oi! label they envisioned being a part of. After repeated
listenings and singalongs, the Radical crew detoured from Texas'
South-by-Southwest Music Festival in Austin, to San Antonio, to hear
The Booked play live. After much Oi!, beer, hugs and promises, The
Booked were part of the Radical Roster. A few months later, the band
hopped on ROAD RAGE (Radical Records' UK band)'s cross-country tour, from Texas to NYC. Several punk rock shows and eyebrow shavings
later, the Booked van barely made it to New York. It literally died
on Bleecker Street, just as the band rolled up to the Radical offices!
The Booked recorded their debut CD, FEEL THE PRIDE at Don Fury's (Sick Of It All, CIV) studios in New York originally released on February 22, 2000. The Booked also appear on Boycott Radical Records, a label sampler, including two songs from FEEL THE PRIDE, and toured with Radical labelmate's Submachine (Punk heaviness from Pittsburgh) and Inspecter 7 (US Skinhead Ska). The Booked are "making their own way...skins and punks survive today, united through Oi!" (from "Way of Life").
With all the football....er soccer madness of 2006 surrounding the World Cup, the Booked have got their second wind playing Oi! fests in San Antonio, TX. You can also catch them around Corpus Christi or San Antonio at fine music venues like House of Rock, the Texan and Jiggers.