Already Dead Unleash Punk Fury on New Single “The Spirit of Massachusetts Avenue’

An observation on the separation of society

Massachusetts Avenue, which unifies two very different parts of life is the subject of “The Spirit of Massachusetts Avenue,” an abrasive powder keg of a new single from Boston punk band Already Dead. “The Spirit of Massachusetts Avenue” is the first lethal dose of Already Dead’s forthcoming sophomore album, Something Like A War, out in July, kicking down the door on a very vocal summer ahead for the band.

Like many who travel up and down “Mass. Ave.,” as it’s known by locals, Already Dead’s vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter Dan Cummings was struck by the differences from one part of the city versus the other while the union pipefitter was working a Cambridge job in 2017.          

“The song is an observation that just one road can be two separate worlds caused by social structures and allocations of resources,” Cummings says. “And it delivers a very deliberate ‘fuck you’ to those who have the power to change things in one of these worlds for the better, but choose not to.”

A journey down Massachusetts Avenue is a startling showcase of New England’s societal and cultural spectrum. The 16-mile stretch of roadway, which connects the posh suburb of Lexington with the gritty urban landscape of Dorchester, contains an eye-opening level of disparity amongst its citizens, particularly on both sides of the bridge crossing the Charles River. On the Cambridge side, the scenic campuses of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology represent wealth and prosperity; and on the Boston side, down past the Back Bay entry point and the busy Berklee College of Music ahead of South End brownstones, an economic downturn grows with each passing side street, leading towards hospitals and rehab centers and into the infamous homeless encampment known as “Mass and Cass,” a cross-section of Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard in Lower Roxbury. 

Every city in America has a Massachusetts Avenue. How are we feeling about this one?

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