There's life in this Nasty last gasp
Waiting For The Last Gasp Of My Generation – Nasty S and The Ghost Chasers (Twenty Something Records)
French journeyman Nasty Samy has been on the European underground touring circuit as long as anyone can remember, playing with the likes of Second Rate, Hawaii Samurai, The Black Zombie Procession, Demon Vendetta, Cab Drivers Stories, Teenage Renegade and a bunch of other bands you’ve possibly never heard of.
He’s a lifer.
He’s also a magazine writer of some repute.
“Waiting For the Last Gasp…” is a cover album, with Nasty S playing most of the stringed instruments on a selection of ‘80s and ‘90s punkish and powerpop songs that he digs, and with a rotating cast of guest vocalists.
It was recorded over a period of years in different studios with different singers, mostly in touring downtime. If that sounds underwhelming, be assured that it’s not. These 16 songs bristle with energy and attitude and it’s a surprisingly cohesive listen.
“Waiting…” is a record of mostly upbeat rockers with a strong pop streak (although there’s the moody “To Walk The Night”, a Samhain cover – to moderate the pace.)
The song selection is idiosyncratic, ranging from Dramarama to Lemonheads, from Supersuckers to Californian emos Jawbreaker. There’s even a Morrisey song (“Last of the International Playboys”). And the vocalists, who include Paul Smith (Dumbell), Simon Chainsaw (Vanilla Chainsaws), Wattie Delai and Anne Durand, do their job well.
Aussies will note a smattering of tuneage from Down Under: Tumbleweed’s “Hang Around” gets a wonderful reading from Ms Durand and Wattie Delai nails “I Do, I Do, I Do” by the Hard-Ons.
Sydneysider Simon Chainsaw delivers the best vocal on the album with Agent Orange’s “The Last Goodbye”, just shading Paul Smith’s thumping effort on The Gun Club’s “Sex Beat”. That’s one cover that goes close to exceeding the original, thanks in large part to the propulsive work of Yoann Bringhenti who drums on nine tracks. Nasty S himself is no slouch on bass and guitar.
The closing take on Joy Division’s “Transmission” might strike you as a curveball but it actually sits well with something of a re-arranged glory.
Is an all-cover album indulgent? No more so than compiling a Spotify playlist and inflicting it on your party guests. Samy S obviously has an ear for a hook and “Waiting For The Last Gasp Of My Generation” celebrates song-writing.