Fred Argir’s “Beggar’s Anthem,” is a hard charging rock & roll song. It’s slightly harder than the Goo Goo Dolls, and very much Tim era Replacements. If that’s not a fully, hearty recommendation, you probably didn’t grow up listening to 80s alternative rock. If so, pity on you.
If you sadly missed the golden era of alternative rock, “Beggar’s Anthem” also has a modern Foo Fighters quality to it. It features one of those surging electric guitar riffs Dave Grohl is just so doggone good at. It’s a fantastic way to kick off an album, as Argir uses this one as the first song on his No Pushover release.
Argir uses multiple vocal tactics throughout the song. In some places, he kinda talks his way through the lyrics. Not full-on spoken word, mind you, but a tone that’s as close to speaking, as it is to singing. In other places, though, he nearly whispers. His vocal, in fact, many times brings another 80s icon to mind – Bob Mould. Mould, you may recall, was the singer in the groundbreaking Minnesota band, Husker Du, then later in Sugar. These days, he’s active as a solo artist. Like Mould, Argir’s vocalizing oftentimes makes him sound like he’s just about to go off the rails. He’s certainly not one of those old-time singers. You know, kind that always sounded like they were in complete control, all the time. Frank Sinatra comes to mind when thinking of these types of singers. Sinatra not only controlled the song and the room of people he was singing it to, but nearly every person in his immediate vicinity. Then again, that’s whole other story, for another time.
It’s relatively easy to pick up on Argir’s musical influences. It’s not quite so obvious deciphering exactly what he’s singing about, though. At one point, he repeats these lines: “It’s just another rescue/And I’m caught between black and blue.” It’s unlikely he means physically; as in being beaten black and blue. Instead, it’s more believable that he’s being pounded black and blue emotionally. So, what’s making him black and blue? Also, what does he mean about “just another rescue”? Rescue from what, and why? Furthermore, Argir drops lyrics about a revolution. Therefore, is it meant to be political? That’s a tough determination to make, however, without more information.
This song is so memorable because it combines the passion and energy of punk rock, with solid musical values. It’s raw, without being noisy, in other words. It adds up to a great song, which is great even if you may not be entirely sure why it’s great. It sounds wonderful. It’s performed with blood, sweat and tears. It’s also still a tad mystical. It’s not so much what he’s performing, as it is the way he performs it. He’s thrown all his cool on the fire. Beggars, as the saying goes, can’t be choosers. Argir sounds backed in the corner, without a choice. And so, he lashes out, like a caged animal. That, my friends, is about a good a definition of rock and roll as you’re likely to find.