Sunday, September 30, 2012

Alex Eruptor's September CD Haul

This summer I spent a couple of weeks in California. Whilst I was there I visited Santa Cruz for a long weekend and made a couple of purchases at Streetlight records.  First up was the 'Cuts' EP by LA Guns.  I'd been after that one since it first came out in the early 1990s but it was hard to get over here in the UK, as it was only released in Japan and the USA to the best of my knowledge.  On the couple of occasions that I did manage to find it here I was put off by the crazy import price. Anyway, it was under $4 at Streetlight so I finally picked it up 20 years on. After a few listens I'd say that it is a pretty enjoyable slab of 'Guns, which includes a few choice cover versions and a couple of interesting originals. Spike from the Quireboys provides some guest backing vocals on 'Night of the Cadilacs' which is cool.

Next up on my list of purchases was Van Halen's debut album, which I'd somehow never got around to buying due to the fact that in my early 20's I had always seemed to house share with other people who had. Another bargain at under $4 used it remains a classic, EVH's guitar tone still sounds as though it comes from another planet, years in the future, as best evidenced on 'Eruption' and 'Ain't Talking bout Love'.

Arriving home in England I found a couple of new releases had been posted out to me for review. Having had time to give them both a good listen I thought both might be of interest to the Sleazegrindin' public:

Taurus Trakker
'A Rakket U Trust'

Hot on the heels of their debut album ‘Building Ten’ come another five songs of bare bones North London blues.  The first couple of tracks seem  to be a tad punkier and grimier than Taurus Trakker’s previous material, an approach that works well for them, most effectively on the opening title track.  The remainder of the songs on this EP contain more sonic contrast, and some strong songwriting:  ‘Long Gone’ is augmented by some pretty cool saxophone courtesy of Dave Wright (from original punks the X-Ray Spex, no less), ‘Nothin But Fire’ presents some fine blues guitar and poignant lyrics influenced by the life and times of the much missed Small Faces/Humble Pie frontman Steve Marriott, then final track ‘Security’ is a strong parting shot with some more cool lead guitar work.  All in all a good blend of material all with a distinctive ‘sound’ that Taurus Trakker can call their own.  Not just another generic gutter-blues band.

Viva le Pink
‘London Crawlin’ EP’
Diablo Records

A couple of years ago I reviewed for the debut album by London based solo artist Kiria.   This was mainly on the basis of the closing song from that CD, a track called ‘Live Sex on Stage’ which seemed to fit the sleazepunk aesthetic to a tee, even if it wasn’t entirely serious. The rest of the album was a mixture of pop punk and other styles which although well done, may or may not have found their way onto the playlist of the average sleazy rock n roller.  Well, Kiria is back and she has a new name ‘Missy Le Pink’, a new band ‘Viva le Pink’ and a new sound and more cohesive set of songs, this time in the rockabilly style.  Opener ‘Hell Kitty’ sounds like a statement of intent, ‘Queen O’Jack’  has a melody will be stuck in your head after a couple of spins, and ‘Pink Elephant’ is an amusing story of hallucinating after having one-too-many drinks.  All in all, this is a fun listen and works well.  If you’re after fix of a bar-room retro rockabilly, then look no further.

So, all in all, I consider September to have been a pretty good month for my CD collection. A couple of old classics plus a couple of solid new releases that you should check out if you get chance.

- Alex Eruptor

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