The Defenders - Small Town, Small Lights



Coming from Santa Cruz, CA is the brand new outfit The Defenders featuring old-time veterans from bands like The Forgotten, Mad Town Mulligan and The Grogs. I was really looking forward to hear this new band of Kenny Helwig (ex-The Forgotten, Slip) after his previous band, The Empty’s, fell apart. Things seemed to have move really fast, because The Defenders already moved to giving thei...r debut, “Small Town, Small Lights”, away (or you can name your own price) through their Bandcamp page!



The album contains nine tracks and with a running time under 22 minutes we definitely got a mini-album in our, for now digital, hands. Of course this would have looked good as a MCD, or even better as a 10 –or 12” slab of wax (at 45RPM), but unfortunately that’s not the case… yet! Perhaps something that will change soon, because I personally think it’s just a matter of time (and for us ‘media’ to give these guys some promotion and attention) before The Defenders’ CD’s and (or) vinyl records start rolling out of the pressing plant. Simply because the nine songs on the band’s debut ‘download’ are top notch Bay Area streetpunk anthems, one by one!


You can hear that The Defenders’ members have their share of experience through the band’s sound, just like you can hear back the members’ previous bands into The Defenders’ music. Maybe unintentionally, but you can definitely hear it back, especially the mix of The Forgotten and Mad Town Mulligan can be heard throughout “Small Town, Small Lights”. Luckily enough along with the influences from the likes of Blitz, Slaughter And The Dogs, Noi!se, Dog Company and bands closer to home like (early) Swingin’ Utters and the Harrington Saints, making sure The Defenders got a face of their own!


“Small Town, Small Lights” is an album you have to check out, especially if you like those faster paced punk tracks mixed with the classic streetpunk sing-alongs! Great first release from this Santa Cruz crew!