Steve Hooker Shakers
Really Gone Remastered
For brevity's sake, I will refrain from gushing about Mr. Hooker's endless contributions to the seedy world of UK glam-punk. Suffice to say, the man was there in the thick of it, from the O.G. '77 punk explosion to the post-Hanoi glitter-punk days, doling out slithery gutter-billy and sunken-cheeked punk n' roll like a less mashed-in Johnny Thunders. The really cool kids knew his old band, the Shakers, and the really old kids remember his first-wave punk band, The Heat.
You can unravel his deep and twisting history del rock on his website. For now, let me just sing the praises of Really Gone Remastered. A revamped version of the Shakers' seminal '84 imported-from-France record Really Gone, it's a black-cat howl of stripped-down scuzz, from the jangly Dress in Black to bare-bones duck-walkers like Poison, Catch On, and their finest-ever, You Don't Have to Tell Me. There's also a sleazy little non-LP number called (She's) Afraid to Come ripped right from an old Shakers' demo tape. As far as the 'remastered' bit goes...well, maybe. Still sounds gloriously tin-can to me, though. The Shakers weren't Rush, man, they were voodoo-daddies with skinny legs and flick-knives stuffed in their boots.
I believe this is the first of many un-vaulted Hooker recordings. If you haven't heard the man or his bands yet, and you dig bones-in-your-hair rattle-punk like, say, the Joneses, Tex and the Horseheads, Gun Club, and the Cramps, then walk don't run to your nearest internet provider and get in on the action.
Clip: Steve Hooker, Stagger Lee is Back (with dancing girls!).
If you're looking for a real rock n' roll rush, that kind of breathless adrenaline high that only really fuckin' spot-on, bad-ass, punch-the-wall rock can give you, than you are in luck. The fine fiends at Zodiac Killer records have paired two of the hottest sleaze-punk sensations currently residing on this or any other puny planet on a scorching split CD that will have you robbing liquor stores and impregnating porn stars by tomorrow morning. Fullerton, California's Disguster are like the Backyard Babies without all the Def Leppard bullshit, a swaggering glam-punk assault on the senses that's fast and mean and at least half-crazy. The Hitchhikers...well, these motherfuckers are ex-Humpers, which should tell you all you need to know. Bruising punk with a junk-rock twist and 10,000 miles of bad road to wander. The Hitch tracks include original demos from 2003 and new shit, as well. The Disguster stuff is so fresh it's still steaming. In the grand tradition of incestuous West Coast punk, there's at least one Disguster in the Hitchhikers, and who knows what they're sharing backstage, so the two bands complement each other nicely. This is the most accomplished collection of low-down dirt-rock I've heard in ages, and I recommend it without hesitation. If I could somehow force you to buy it, I fuckin' would.
Clip: Disguster, My Kick.
Bernie Torme is one of the greatest guitar players in history of that cursed instrument, an acid-dipped gypsy-glam punk rock superstar who swings his axe like a blood-hungry maniac. You may remember him from his late 80's flash-rock band Torme, or from his early 80's solo records, or from the Rene Berg band, or from Desperado, his band with Twisted Sister's lead-mouth Dee Snider, or in any of the zillion other places he's been between 1970-something to now. For the past few years he's been bashing away with his supergroup/power trio GMT, which also includes NWOBHM bass-hero John McCoy and Anti-product drummer/nutter Robin Guy. Evil Twin is their second album, and it's chockfull of sun-bursting psyche-punk guitar heroism, cowbell abuse, squealing hard rock, and high weirdness. Bernie's old pal Dee shows up on vox for opener Punko Rocco, Bernie straps on a sitar for loopy acid-anthem Jonny Sitar, and there's a brawling, drawling, 10-minute blooze epic called Perfumed Garden. Very much in the vein of Benie's seminal '83 Electric Gypsies record, Evil Twin is vintage Torme craziness, a slashing, smashing slab of wild beast throb that will have you air-guitaring like an idiot for days.
Clip: GMT, Cannonball.
Seven Dirty Words
Hard Boiled and Dirty
Have I written about this record already? Dunno. It's been here awhile, but I will not allow more time to sluice by without mentioning 'em. So-Cal speed-rockers with grit, venom, and a penchant for greasy, bleed-along, head-stomping choruses, Seven Dirty Words are like The Hookers with a Judas Priest fetish. Hard Boiled, their debut, is brief but suitably devastating, a fuck-and-run assault of hard-charging, redneck blast-rock anchored by the fairly incredible (I'm Your) Motherfucker, a triple speed throttling of Motorhead proportions, and Outta My Head, a cowbell-banging ode to losing your mind at just the right moment. Fast, fucked, and furious stuff. Even if you were born with a vagina, you'll still end up with a pair of thick, hairy balls after hearing this record.
Clip: Seven Dirty Words, live! (Thanks, Flashrock)
In the Rough
In the Rough
First off, I want Diemonds to know how much I appreciate their DIY approach to marketing. In the Rough is wrapped in a hand-screened digipak with old-skull Xeroxed lyrics nearly folded in (they're unreadable unless you've got tiny fucking eyes, but whatever) and topped off with a once-inch button to pin on the lapel of your leather jacket. It's obviously a labor of love, and I salute 'em for it. And here's the even-better news: they play sleazy, hook-heavy flash-rock, and they've got a hot, pint-sized front-fox with arena-rocking pipes. Young, tough, and Canadian (C'mon, it's possible), Diemonds have clearly spent many ruinous nights chugging whiskey and listening to crackly old Crue and GN'R tapes, and this is the result of their misspent youth, a seven-shot battering of slithery guitars, fuck-on-the-floor glam-metal, punk-snarl, and radio-ready pop-hooks. If I was the dude in charge, I'd flood the airwaves with White Walls, an epic bout of panicky, Blondie-meets-Guns awesomeness that it so, so shamelessly fuckable that it's practically pornographic. A stellar debut that'll sleaze everybody from Donnas fans to Sunset Strip holdouts.