Monday, January 23, 2012

Flash Metal Suicide: Glorious Bankrobbers


Glorious Bankrobbers
Dynamite Sex Doze (1989)

The Glorious Bankrobbers were Swedish way before it was cool, man. They played sleazy glampunk way before it was cool, too- before it was even invented, practically. And, ya know, they named themselves the GLORIOUS BANKROBBERS – in 1983, no less- which just about every born-again redneck motherfucker punk n’ roll band woulda given up their Skynrd belt-buckles to have thought of first. Oh, and they looked and sounded like Guns N’ Roses, too. Before there was a Guns N’ Roses. Fuckers oughta be soaking up the retro-rock glory like the cock n’ roll pioneers that they are, but instead, the GB’s remain less than a footnote in the annals of rock n’ roll. Stupid fuckin’ annals.

Precious little skinfo remains about the early daze of GB’s existence, due in no small part to the fact they remained a homegrown entity throughout most of their career, but the facts of the case are that they released their self-titled debut in 1984 onSwedish label Planet, and then waited five years before releasing it’s follow up, Dynamite Sex Doze. Why? Who knows? Maybe they were just waitin’ for rock n roll to catch up with them, or something. The original GB’s album is a scarce commodity indeed, so’s all I can really tell ya is that they covered the Sex Pistols obscurity “Did You No Wrong” on it, and they had some truly bitchin’ song titles, like “The Best Speed (is rock n’ roll)”, “Psycho Asshole”, “Bloodshed Twist”, and “Young Alcoholic” (parts 1 and two- and part 3 was on ‘Dynamite’- mebbe that explains where they were for 5 years, in rehab).


Anyway, five years later- exactly at the time that glam metal was disappearing completely in a sea of flannel - the Glorious Bankrobbers released “Dynamite Sex Doze”, a might wallop of full-throttle cock n’ roll rife with rattlesnake daddy guitars that borrowed from Johnny Thunders and Steve Jones almost as much as they did from Andy McCoy, and the kinda spandex sex god vocals that was currently making Sebastian Bach a boorish tattooed millionaire. Ok, so lyrically they weren’t exactly cutting edge- “Hairdown” is about, simply, having long hair, and the chorus goes, “He’s got hair down to his knees/Whoa-oh!”- but at least they were consistent, as every fuckin’ song is about rock, and chicks, and booze. Usually all three. Songs like “Highway Raceway” (“Highway Raceway/Rockin’ all night and day!”) and “Spitfire” are punchy sleaze metal  scorchers with hooky choruses and blazing rock star guitars, “Crazy Sioux” is a shameless- and, fuck, pretty goddamn successful- Hanoi Rocks rip-off, complete with a blazing harmonica solo, and gratuitous or not, they also do an entirely snarly cover of “I’m Eighteen” that nearly out-slithers the original. A couple of the tracks- “Good N’ Bad”, “Small Operations” - devolve into gooey pop metal, but what the hell, it was the 80’s after all. Mostly, it’s all killer, no filler, and it rocks like crazy- and not even in the “It rocks for 1989” kinda way, either, brother- it ROCKS LIKE CRAZY RIGHT FUCKING NOW. If ever there was a drop-everything flash metal suicide obscurity to dig up, it’s this one.

Unlike the debut, “Dynamite Sex Doze” did manage to get the GB’s a little attention from the rest o’ planet rock, which sparked the ballsy but ill-starred decision to leave Sweden and regroup in New York City. If they could “make it there”, right? Well, despite self-releasing a live album, “Live at CBGB’s NYC” in 1991, the Glorious Bankrobbers could NOT make it there, and sadly, they broke up soon after.

A year later, the entire band, minus lead singer Olle Hillburg, re-emerged in the Swedish psyche-grunge band Mental Hippie Blood, who released two albums before imploding in 1995.Hillburg joined that other Swede proto-sleazeglam band, Backstreet Girls, but quit by 1993. Dunno where the GB’s are today, but somethin’ tells me a reunion is just around the corner. Wink.

Oh, and if they were so fuckin’ bad ass, where’s the Flash Metal Suicide come in? Dude, they went GRUNGE and changed their name to MENTAL HIPPIE BLOOD. If that’s not a bullet to the spandex brain, I dunno what is.

- Sleaze
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