Thought Provoking Rock

Bruce Von Stiers

Poster Children is a rock band with a lot to say. That is, their songs sometimes have a political or social statement. Their latest album proves that out. Grand Bargain! Is chock full of songs that reflect their views on government rule, corporate greed and our societal decline.

The members of Poster Children are Rick Valentin, Rose Marshack, Jim Valentin and Matt Friscia. Rick plays guitar and does vocals. Rose is on bass and also does vocals. Jim is on guitar and keys. And Matt is the band's drummer.

The new album was engineered and mixed by Steve Albani. It was mastered by Bob Weston. The album was released by Lotuspool Records. It has eleven songs and a play time of thirty-three minutes.

The title track, Grand Bargain! begins the album. It has lyrics that are spoken with the song's name hollered at different points. This is all in front of a blistering rock anthem sound. The song is about corporate greed, governmental corruption, human nature and the sheep we're all becoming.

Hippie Hills is a toe-tapping tune. It's about the things kids used to do like playing on swing sets or doing a half pipe on their skateboards. And how now it's changed and kids are slaves in their towns due to the corporate “theme park.”

How people have changed and the grass is not always greener is kind of the theme of Lucky Ones.

World's Insane is another toe-tapper. It deals with world events and how it is just plain crazy, hence the song title.

Cool rock ballad guitar can be found in Devil and the Gun. It's about gun violence and senseless wars.

Looking out for one another is not a good thing in Better Than Nothing, a tough guitar and drum laden song.

Brand New Country is about building a Utopian society where everyone is equal and take care of each other. Or maybe not.

The vocals in Better Place kind of reminded me of the B52's only a little bit lighter.

Final Offense is a cool rock anthem in back of accusatory lyrics.

Really cool guitar can be found in Big Surprise.

The final song on this album, Safe Tonight, made me think of songs from some of those old albums I listened to back in the days of understated guitar and mellow, yet almost aching vocals.

Poster Children does indeed have a lot to say in their songs. From gun violence to not taking care of each other to utopian societies the band covers a lot of things. While they aren't protest songs, the lyrics should definitely make you stop and think. Like I wrote earlier, Grand Bargain! is full of those types of songs.

Grand Bargain! can be purchased at most music retailers.

To learn more, visit the band at They also have a band page on Facebook at

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© 2018 Bruce E Von Stiers