A Tribute to Sonny Vincent - Various Artists (Disturbed Records)

sonny tributeThree years ago, family tragedy thrust Sonny Vincent from being a cult New York punk legend into the role of full-time carer. 

Based in Europe for two decades from where he prolifically recorded and toured, he was suddenly pulled back to the USA by a home gas explosion and fire that left his son, daughter-in-law and grandson on life support in a North Carolina hospital.

Sonny’s family has survived but his music is on indefinite hold. Day-to-day life now revolves around his 12-year-old grandson Cayden, still undergoing skin grafts while trying to live the life of a schoolboy. Sonny hasn’t picked up a guitar since that fateful night and has been existing on donations.

Hence, this tribute three-CD set is a fundraiser. Seventy-seven tracks from almost as many bands. Most of it high-energy blasts - just like Sonny Vincent’s own music, of which there's a handful of tracks included.

A track-by-track dissertation would be pointless - everyone will have their own highlights and there are too many to single out. Let's say there are very few flat spots. Next to none. Some obscure inclusions are present - it was largely curated by a label owner from Portugal who obviously had his own favourites - but they hold their own against the more familiar company.

You'll know the big names even if, in some cases, you don't know the songs. The Pagans, Pussy Galore, Tav Falco, Chrome Cranks, The B-Girls, Pat Todd & The Rankoutsiders, Simon Chainsaw, Streetwalkin' Cheetahs, Jeff Dahl, Kevin K, James Williamson, Flamin' Groovies, BellRays, Dark Carnival and The Dogs (USA) are among contributors.

(For the record, the entire tracklist is laid out at the end of the review.)

Tribute albums? Take them or (more often) leave them. Too frquently, they slavishly serve up pale reprises of the subject's own work. All but a handful are patchy and invariably redundant after a play or two. On the other hand, this collection of cast-iron nuggets leaves most of them in the gutter. It isn't other people playing Sonny's songs but a collection of friends and fans choosing to pay tribute in kind with their own sounds.

So you get Dark Carnival ripping through "I Love You But You're Dead" and "Real Cool Time" - both hard-to-find live versions, with Ron Asheton's sublime blues blowtorch at the centre. New York Junk serves up a scoop of The Bowery's finest with a trip on the subway, Germany's raw Cellophane Suckers ask for some ass and immensley talented ex-Cramp Fur Dixon gets all sultry with "If I Were Free".

Mr Vincent is well-represented by Testors (his CGBG band) and the killer combo of Sonny with Rocket From The Crypt members both charging through "Bad Attitude", as well as Sonny Vincent and His Rat Race Choir on "Cinematic Suicide".

Think of this set as a flurry of precision right and left crosses to the head, peppered with more stylistically diverse jabs to the midriff. As a whole, it punches well above its weight.

So how do you gets yours? Paypal $US25 if you're in America (or $US35 anywhere else) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and use the "family and friends/gift" option so the man doesn't incur fees. You'll not find a better collection of good, bad (sic) and ugly music in one place.  

five

CD1
01 Rough Kids – Lights Out (USA)
02 The Dogs – Call My Name (USA)
03 James Williamson – Never Far From Where The Wild Things Are (USA)
04 Anti Cimex – Only In Dreams (SWE)
05 The Candy Snatchers – Pissed Off, Ripped Off, Screwed (USA)
06 Legion Of Sadists – Pacto De Sangue (POR)
07 Eskorbuto – Cerebros Destruidos (ESP)
08 The Pagans – Hollywood Or Die (USA)
09 Knife For An Eye – Poison Out (SWE)
010 Victims – She’s So Hot (USA)
011 Bobby Liebling’s (Pentagram) Ram Family – Drop The Gun (USA)
012 The Boys – Walk My Dog (UK)
013 Tav Falco – Whistle Blower Blues (USA)
014 Pussy Galore – Seattle (USA)
015 Chaos UK – Hearts Of Noize (UK)
016 Jack Lipton (Penetrators) – She’s Gonna Remind You (USA)
017 The Chrome Cranks – Bloodshot Eye (USA)
018 The ‘B’ Girls – Mystery (USA)
019 The Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs – Escape From New York City (USA)
020 Simon Chainsaw – Eight Times Lucky (AUS)
021 Sorrows – Bad Times Good Times (USA)
022 Pat Todd & The Rankoutsiders – This Counterfeit World (USA)
023 Spent Idols – Creeps (USA)
024 Patrulha do Purgatório – Enterrado Na Loucura (POR)

CD2

01 Dark Carnival – Real Cool Time (USA)
02 Flamin’ Groovies – Don’t Talk To Strangers (USA)
03 The Bellrays – Mine All Mine (USA)
04 Viletones – The Screaming Fist (CAN)
05 Corpse Grinders – Anything Goes (USA)
06 The Black Lips And Khan Family – Too Much In Love (USA)
07 Electric Frankenstein – Welcome To My Town (USA)
08 Refused and Rise Against – Proficiency (SWE)/(USA)
09 Deadbeat Poets – It’s Summertime (USA)
010 New York Junk – I Ride A Subway Train (USA)
011 Zodiac Panthers – I Don’t Gotta But I’m Gonna Cause I Wanna (USA)
012 Clorox Girls – Vietnam (USA)
013 Sonic Angels – Love Is The Law (FRA)
014 Pretty Quick – Hit Me With The Reflex (USA)
015 Luigi And The Wiseguys – Johnny Ace (USA)
016 Moto – Lovers Landfill (USA)
017 White Mystery – Boy Next Door (USA)
018 Comando 9mm – Antisocial (ESP)
019 Gentleman Jesse – Romford Girls (USA)
020 The Kopek Millionaires – Punk Girl (USA)
021 Psychotica – We Are The Dead (USA)
022 Marion Cobretti – Viver À Margem (POR)
023 Carbonas – Nostalgia Buff (USA)
024 Dan Sartain – When I Was A Cowboy (USA)
025 Barreracudas – Stoned On Love (USA)
026 The Ricky C. Quartet – Bleeding Heart (UK)
027 Cellophane Suckers – Gimme That Ass (GER)
028 Sonny Vincent with (members of) Rocket From The Crypt – Bad Attitude (USA)

CD3

01 Jeff Dahl – Bang On (USA)
02 Flesh Rag – In Another Dimension (CAN)
03 Richard Duguay – Fuck You Fame Whore (USA)
04 The Cynz – Mean Girls (USA)
05 Crusaders Of Love – Shot To The Heart (FRA)
06 Soggy – Lay Down A Lot (FRA)
07 Electra Jets – Bomb Bomb Bomb (USA)
08 The Capaces – Shinning Soul (ESP)
09 Kevin K – Justify (USA)
010 Clockwork Boys – Selvagem (POR)
011 Rattlin’ Bones – Don’t Believe (USA)
012 RIP – Enamorado De La Muerte (ESP)
013 Steve Baise’s Sly – fi – She’s Got It (USA)
014 Dark Carnival – I Love You But You’re Dead (USA)
015 Sonny Vincent & His Rat Race Choir – Cinematic Suicide (USA)
016 The Black Widows – Neo Invictus (USA)
017 Les Lullies – Bored Sick Done (FRA)
018 Fur Dixon – If I Was Free (USA)
019 Cavalaria 77 – José Do Telhado (POR)
020 Spitfire Stevens – Hollow Inside (GER)
021 Rikki Bacchus – Goochi Boxer (USA)
022 The Crazy Squeeze – Hard Livin’ Man (USA)
023 Ravagers – Suzi (Has An Uzi) (USA)
024 Testors – Bad Attitude (USA)
025 Puma Pearl -September Blue (USA)

 

Tags: new york punk, cbgb, tribute, sonny vincent

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