Firestorm - Kevin K & Texas Terri (Real Kat Records)
A more apt title couldn't have been penned for this nine-tracker from two underground legends - after all, Texas Terri and Kevin K have been throwing fuel onto the flames of their respective rankings as perpetual outsiders for years. "Firestorm" continues down the unpaved track of exemplary punk rock and roll that both have traveled for as long as anyone can recall.
Like most great pairings you wonder why someone didn't think of it before. Kevin and Texas Terri split vocal duties and their frayed, edgy voices complement each other to a tee - to the point that it's sometimes hard to tell them apart. Terri probably sings lower, come to think of it. Duets? Let just say the interplay on "Have a Good Day" sure beats Natalie Cole singing along to tapes of her dead Dad.
Backing comes from Kevin's European touring band with the Trash Brats' Ricky Rat on lead guitar. If you know their previous recordings you'll recognise the tight-but-taut Dead Boys/Heartbreakers sound this crew has been peddling around the cafes and bars of the Continent, off and on, for the best part of a decade.
Texas Terri is an underrated keeper of the punk flame, a confronting and colourful female version of Iggy whose gutter-punk music is one of the best things to come out of LA in the past 20 years. She's been on hiatus from music, taking it up again for a recent European tour which gave her and Mr K the chance to collaborate.
Worked up at a pre-gig rehearsal in France and recorded soon after, "Firestorm" comprises Kevin K songs plus two super covers ("What Love Is" and "London Boys"), the choice of which won't surprise anyone. Someone's gotta keep that stuff alive, huh? On the Dead Boys song, Terri sounds brattier than Stiv.
Of the originals, "Love Kills Love" is a fairly typical Kevin K tune that should have you singing along quicker than you can say "What are the words?" "Graceland To Neverland" draws a cruel but fair parallel between Elvis and M.J., while the "hidden" track that closes things features guitars dirty enough to stain your stereo a permanent shade of brown. It's an untitled ode to a girl on the Internet.
FOOTNOTE: The virtual ink's barely dry on our review of this on CD and Beast Records have put this monster out on thick, black vinyl. If you're into LPs and are halfway a fan of Texas Terri or Kevin K you won't need any encouragement to make this part of your collection.
It's aptly titled and jumps out of the speakers. Begs the question why, schedules allowing, Mr K and Terri shouldn't get together and record another like this? Eight tracks isn't enough.