Monday, January 25, 2010


Kicksville's "Letters from Lesterville"

Of all the overtures I make about exploring new avenues of music of all types, I have to admit that I’m always happiest with loud fast rock’n’roll. The first round of this album took me back to Glasgow last autumn when Cj Ramone, Daniel Rey and Brant Bjork joyously laid the best Ramones set on us that the brudders never played. JP has captured that brand of energy and added a few of his own ingredients. A couple ounces of glam, a smidge of power pop and some hard rockin’ chops all simmered together in order to deliver a considerable sucker punch. Americans still use imperial measures so run with me on this alright?

Swinging in with the title track, I got to thinking that this should be available as a set of 45’s. Or for extra loudness in the cut a caseful of 12” singles. “On and On” reminds us that although Slade perhaps didn’t break America, they certainly marked their territory.

Abetted by Dean Rispler and CJ Sciosca, I can unequivocally recommend this to you NBT types because deep down I know you can’t get enough of this stuff either. JP prompted me to say that it’s the best thing I ever heard and that it could be a huge hit in the UK. I can tell you that it’s right up there and I don’t think I’ve heard a celebration of good ol’ new York rock like this in quite some time. I would feel a lot better about my country of origin if this could indeed be a hit here but there’s simply no such thing anymore. I like to think that I still know one when I hear it though and “Hand Grenade Heart” is reverberating around my noggin bigstyle. There’s more to JP than him just being the drummer with one of the greatest combos that ever was. Often a maligned species, this one has several strings to his bow, in addition to being a diamond geezer.

No lightning, no Galileo, no sodding Figaro just some very, very frighteningly good rock’n’roll. Magnifico!

There’s a great interview with the man by The Barman here that goes into some detail about what you can expect.

No Fun releases are available via Get Hip and ostensibly from the remaining good record stores that are peppered a cross the planet. However, if in doubt – go to the source.

“ROBERT BURNS”. When I see or hear the name, I recall the great Chris Gaffney enunciating it in his approximation of a Scottish brogue. In a coincidence, I heard Dave Alvin’s amazing version of Artesia from the tribute album this morning and that brought Chris to mind again. Yesterday morning, a presenter on BBC Radio Scotland’s “Greetings Programme” offered the info that Dave and the Guilty Men were his favourite act of all time. Not the kind of thing I’m used to hearing just prior to 8am on a Sabbath but quite an inspiring statement.

So that brings me to the Burns day hoopla. Scotland’s national bard and all that. In actual fact, my opinion of his work is somewhat akin to my non-appreciation of The Beatles. It was spotty at best. This isn’t helped by interpretations by people like Eddie Reeder. Recitations will be made all over the daftest wee country in the world and beyond today. Much haggis, neeps and the odd tattie will be consumed, all washed down with the singin’ ginger and then tomorrow it’ll be 364 days until the next such stramash.

In my opinion, both Chris and Dave are greater poets than the Rabster will ever be. You’re entitled to disagree but that won’t alter my worldview.