Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wayne County And The Electric Chairs
Rock’n’Roll Cleopatra
www.cherryred.co.uk

Mainly known for punk comp-teasing, attention grabbing novelty classic of 'shock! horror!' outrage Fuck Off, Jayne, or Wayne as s/he was then before the trans-op, is far more of a New Yawk rock-colossus than frequently acknowledged. Around before the Dolls and Bowie in theatre, but only taking off in '77's aunthento-punk-starved Lahnden, this compilation of the three albums, and the Blatantly Offenzive EP (Fuck Off, along with fetish-fishing grotesquerie Toilet Love and Mean Muthafuckin’ Man – nope, not the WASP one!) with The Electric Chairs as Wayne takes place in a three year blaze in late seventies and is an all but perfect and graphic (no Trying To Get On The Radio or Cream In My Jeans) showcase of the trash-queen. As County can raise thanks to Rock’n’Roll for helping conquer what musta been a tough ride growing up gender-bending in the bible-belt, our chosen crypt can return thanks that these metallic-edged show tunes a la Alice and, sssh, Kiss apply the mixed-up cut-up tales into larger than life theatrical cabaret in turns and simultaneously amusing, fun and funny, wry and wreathed in thought provoking pathos as well as sick-locating laughs, not bathed in the bitter bilge of aimless vitriol. Nope this ain’t titled R’n’R Cleopatra for nowt, County being far too intelligent and confident for such tantrums, the confrontational and provocative posturing well-targeted (sleazy club-running scum on MMMan, and lovely West Side Story style love between a punk and a ted on Spector ballad meets Pistols lampoon Eddie And Sheena). Slated at the time for the too rock-ist guitaring it is ever appropriate in suiting such musical stylistics whilst escaping pastiche, which is some accomplishment, so forget such jibes, bearing in mind they were from Sounds in the punkambodia late seventies when only roughneck bands under the metal banner (AC/DC) and bands with such charismatic boys-own characters that it was, and is, hard to dislike them (namely Thin Lizzy and the loveable scamp Lynott) and flaunt it, this ain't no peepshow it's on open display so pay up and preen.
Stu Gibson
Harmon Leon
The American Dream
www.perseusbooksgroup.com

This semi-delightful little trawl through the backwaters of the west’s wild and woe-filled fairytales entails the author entering full-pelt into various lifestyles, as stated on the cover we get him colluding his way into cultures at arms dealers conventions, carnies, pot farmers, swingers and ultra-christians (the brain-defyingly bonkers Westboro Baptists – who proclaim everything is the fault of fags), reality tv wannabe’s, y’know yer everyday detritus. Maybe not as hilarious as Howard Stern seems to think, especially when put against previous escapades from Jon Ronson and Louis Theroux who allow the satire to speak for itself, where Leon comes across unnecessarily condescending at times, I mean, sure n’ shucks some of these fuckers need lobotomising or lugged through an assault course of incredulous drill sergeants but Ronson and Theroux at least attempt to gain some understanding rather than merely point fingers at a freak show. Nevertheless this is worth an hour or two or a meandering eye cast to alleviate the work-bound ride, the immigrant tale and cult of celebrity where Leon presents ridiculous ideas to all too believing TV execs claiming to be so-and-so, relative of such a body are well, worth commissioning themselves.
Stu Gibson
Untamed
Insanity Bound
www.transcendmediagroup.com

Another one in the breech following the recent(ish) resurgence of interest in the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal this Southern (UK) bunch pack enough rifferola equitable to the ceaseless number of rounds in a blockbuster action movie characters chamber. Savaging like Saxon, redeeming like Priest, they even pack in a Maiden style epic in Dorian Gray, a kind of combination of Remember Tomorrow and Phantom Of The Opera, the twin guitar thrust should allay, if not utterly alloy, any doubts at the occasionally too tame vocals and such adherence to stance and standards belying their roots as a NWOBHM covers band. However, along with the everything comes full circle every twenty to thirty years theory, maybe it’s no coincidence that this brutal, finger-pointing, deceptively moralistic (ok, at times) style is again in focus what with the current economic calamities.
Stu Gibson
Gandalf Murphy And The Slambovian Circus Of Dreams
The Great Unravel
www.slambovia.com

Following from the magnificent double-disc sprawl of Flapjacks From The Sky this third album can only disappoint, one may suppose. Gladly though there’s nary a scant cause or trace of such cynicism aboard the good ship Slambovia as their spectacularly starry-skied spaceploration psychedelic folk-pop resonates with hopes and truths. They may term it ‘Hillbilly-Floyd’ and sure, they have an air of both Floyd and maybe Bowie at times (explicitly so on the Lucifer Sam in The Man Who Fell To Earth – but not to sell a resemblance of it but to provide some respite from it’s and our inherent ruptures – meteor shuffle of the title track) atop their folkcountry roots (note, not fauxcountry) but it’s done with a warmth and comfort of a mystical Nebraska or poetic Crazy Horse. And fear not the hippy and instinctive harrumphs about the Grateful Dead and Van Morrison, for, despite looking like a grown up Jellyfish or even Black Crowes’ or Imperial Drags’ sagacious, reclusive cousins, such magisterial and maverickly illuminating glowing showers of song are charming, beguiling breaths of fresh air in the manner of Mike Scott where every chord is a crashing wave of optimism despite the situation in hand. Quietly enchanting.
Stu Gibson
The Jim Jones Revue
The Jim Jones Revue
www.punkrockblues.co.uk

‘As A Matter Of Fact, It’s A Matter Of Fuck…’ – Fish Fry

This gallivanting n’ gyrating troupe centre round ex-Thee Hypnotics front-loon and lead fracasauteur and sometime Urban Voodoo Machine harp-vamp* Jones and are set to thwart any yawns at the Little Richard limboing with The Sonics under The Stooges raw-eyed power-swagger. Allaying any lethargic name-dropping they push everything red-wards and beyond throwing pianner keys in Iggy’s eyes courtesy of ace in the Jones Elliott Mortimer, Jones himself crunching out some of the most joyfully eye-pinning guitar gut-shots since James Williamson alongside Rupert Orton, all resembling the entire ensemble of Nuggets knuckle-dusting Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight, the solo to old whores chest-nut Meat Man harking back to the gloriously egregious slather on Rock Around The Clock or King Creole upto the most bestial of belches from the Voodoo Rhythm barn. Swampy, slimy, greasy, dirty but completely hooked up and electrifying this sure nuff and YAY it be one thirty minute tirade of rock’n’roll at it’s most rollickingest and primeval moverist, and with it’s sting in the tail stripping you down ready for some new skin for the oldest most vital ceremony before you whip off like a hot-dogging, hum-dinging, heart-draining hot-rodded dodge that don’t ever deviate, THAT, is a motherhumper.
* (http://www.sleazegrinder.com/review_3-29UrbanVoodooMachine.htm)
Stu Gibson
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