I Love Rock ‘n Roll: Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

Rating: 95%

I_love_rock_n'_roll_-_joan_jett_(album_cover)Fresh out of the Runaways and after releasing her first solo record, Joan Jett now backed the her hand The Blackhearts released “I love Rock n’ Roll” in 1981. This to me was a solid record. It flirted with both Punk and Hard Rock as well as keeping it as close to pure Rock n’ Roll as possible.

The musicianship is good. Joan Jett proves that she can have solo career while performing lead vocals and guitar as she did toward the end of the Runaways. She also proves to be a good song writer. She is backed by a series of good musicians. Ricky Byrd on guitar, bassist Gary Ryan, and drummer Lee Crystal. It also features Eric Ambel on tracks 5 & 10 as guitarist. 

Musically, again we have influences that range from pure Rock n’ Roll to Punk Rock itself. Everything is blended together decently. The music is strong, it’s original, edgy, and interesting. I don’t think there is a boring part to this album at all. It’s got some very impressive melodies. The vocals of the entire band is expressive and has lots of feeling. The vocals of Joan herself are stylish and raw. Everything seems to be perfectly balanced. The best riff is the actual title track of the album. But it does feature other good guitar riffs as well as leads done in both Punk and Rock format.

Track listing:

Side one
1. “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” 2:55
2. “(I’m Gonna) Run Away” 2:27
3. “Love Is Pain” 3:07
4. “Nag” 2:46
5. “Crimson and Clover” 3:17

Side two
6. “Victim of Circumstance” 2:54
7. “Bits and Pieces” 2:07
8. “Be Straight” 2:40
9. “You’re Too Possessive” 3:35
10. “Little Drummer Boy” 4:14

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Bedtime for Democracy: Dead Kennedys

Rating: 90%

Dead_Kennedys_-_Bedtime_for_Democracy_cover.jpgThe Dead Kennedys are another great Hardcore Punk from the early to mid 1980’s. Being from California, they aren’t your typical New York sounding Punk band. In fact, I hear a lot of influences in their music, especially on this 1986 release.

For starters, the Country song “Take This Job and Shove It” by David Allan Coe. When have you ever heard of a Punk band covering a Country song? Not many. But the Dead Kennedys pulled it off. You also hear some of the Country style licks in some of the solos. Aside from that, you do hear a bit of the surf music influence which is blended ever so nicely into the main sound. There are some excellent melodies here within the song structures. Lyrically, the band is protesting the government, society, and war.

The band itself is fucking fantastic. The unique vocals of Jello Biafra is remarkable. He has a voice that other you like or don’t like. There’s really no other way to put it. Then you have guitarist East Bay Ray who throws riffs and leads out like there is no tomorrow. Bringing in tons of harmony and is heard clear as day is bassist Klaus Flouride. Rounding out the drumming spot and really throwing out some fast pace tempos and weird offbeats is drummer D.H. Peligro. 

Track listing:

Side A
“Take This Job and Shove It” (David Allan Coe) – 1:25
“Hop with the Jet Set” – 2:07
“Dear Abby” – 1:09
“Rambozo the Clown” – 2:25
“Fleshdunce” – 1:29
“The Great Wall” – 1:32
“Shrink” – 1:44
“Triumph of the Swill” – 2:17
“Macho Insecurity” – 1:30
“I Spy”  – 2:30
“Cesspools in Eden” – 5:56
Side B
“One-Way Ticket to Pluto” – 1:38
“Do the Slag”  – 1:36
“A Commercial” – 1:33
“Gone with My Wind” – 1:43
“Anarchy for Sale” – 1:18
“Chickenshit Conformist” – 5:58
“Where Do Ya Draw the Line” – 2:39
“Potshot Heard ‘Round the World”  – 2:10
“D.M.S.O.” – 2:09
“Lie Detector”  – 3:43

Greatest Shits – One Hour Of Music: D.O.A.

Rating: 95%

R-1644712-1453754014-5716.jpeg.jpgI love early 1980’s Hardcore Punk. Something about the powerful sound, quirkiness, the raw feeling, and the music itself. Today, the modern sound is so polished and clean that it annoys me. It’s not real.

Back to the 1980’s, D.O.A. was tearing it up on the circuit and is often considered as one of the founding fathers of the Hardcore Punk movement. One member of the band that may stick out to any metalhead is Chuck Biscuits. He was the drummer who went to Danzig as well as many other Punk bands. His brother Dimwit took his place after he left the band. Demwit also played for the Four Horsemen. The only original member of the band  is Joe Keithley, the vocalist.

The songs on this album showcases what the band sounded like both live and studio from the late 1970’s to the mid 1980’s. The sound was raw, powerful, and hardcore. You couldn’t even begin to polish this album. I love the overall sound to this band. IT’s got plenty of structure to it, from the verse to chorus. The speed of the music is fast, but not overwhelming. The leads are fantastic as are the main riffs to each of the songs. Even the covers are killer.

It’s filled with plenty of attitude from “Royal Police” to “Nazi Training Camp” where the lyrics don’t hold back any feelings. It also has some funny moments to it. Take the 20 second song “Oo-Ee-Oo-Ee-Oo-Ah-Ah!” or “My Old Man’s A Bum.”

I wish that more bands were like this today. But once they are in the studio, the record company just destroys the nature sound of many of these newer Hardcore bands. Shame too!

Track list:

Fucked Up Baby 1:29
Oo-Ee-Oo-Ee-Oo-Ah-Ah! 0:20
My Old Man’s A Bum 1:38
M.C.T.F.D. 1:36
The Kenny Blister Song 0:17
Utopia 4:23
Billy And The Socreds 2:35
Royal Police 2:13
New Wave Sucks 1:24
Behind The Smile 2:20
Take A Chance 1:48
Last Night 3:20
New Wave Sucks (Dub) 0:56
Great While Hope 2:46
Nazi Training Camp 1:45
Want Some Bondage 2:25
Rich Bitch 3:20
Let’s Fuck 1:45
World War 3 4:26
Won’t Get Fooled Again 6:30
Communication Breakdown 1:56
L.A. Woman 5:37

Dawn Of The Undead: The Undead

Rating: 90%

Dawn_of_the_UndeadI picked up the CD of Bobby Steele’s The Undead over the weekend. I have always liked the Undead, but without breaking the bank, I never picked up any of their CDs. I found this one for $6.00 in Greencastle, PA.

The Undead was born the moment that Bobby Steele, the guitarist of the Misfits was fired from the band. In 1982, the Undead released their first EP. They were one of the popular Punk bands to hit New York running head to head with the Bad Brains and the Misfits.

This album here showcases many of the songs that were recorded from 1982-1986. Although, some of the songs were remixed in 1991. The Undead has a sound that is really unique. In some ways, it sounds much like the old Misfits, but that is because of Bobby Steele’s sound that he took from the band when he left.

The Undead proves that Punk can have structure, it can have fun, and it can sound good. Some of the songs have that real Punk feeling, while others are much heavier. It’s those songs that have the Misfits sound. It has great instrumentation. Some of the tracks were recorded with Steve Zing on drums who left the band to join Samhain with Glenn Danzig. The guitar parts are fantastic. The bass adds to the overall harmony of the sound itself. All and all, this album here is a classic and I don’t know what the CD is so damn expensive, but, worth the investment.

Track listing: (CD version)

Evening of Desire
A Life of Our Own
Never Say Die
Gimme Your Autograph
I Don’t Wanna Go
In Eighty Four
The Way We Behave
Put Your Clothes Back On
R.A.T.T.F.I.N.K.
I Want You Dead
We Don’t Want the Poor in New York City
When the Evening Comes
Verbal Abuse
My Kinda Town
Hollywood Boulevard
Undead
Social Reason
No Vices
Nightmare
Lies
Eve of Destruction
Misfit