It’s might be a truism that Kevin K is rock and roll’s best-kept secret. If you’re a regular here you’ll no doubt be sick of hearing it (and I’m sick of writing it.) But I have to say it again: Kevin K is rock and roll’s best-kept secret. So if you’re in the dark, just go with the flow and get acquainted. Trust me, it'll all be for the best.
The rock and roll family tree of Lower East Side garage rodent Kevin K is enough to cause even Pete Frame heartburn, the past quarter century and change a revolving door of true believers like Aunt Helen, The Toys, The Road Vultures, Trash Brats, Freddy Lynxx and The Corner Gang, The Kevin K Band, The Real Kool Kats, and now The Hollywood Stars. Along the way, he’s shared a thousand clammy club gigs with various Ramones, Dolls, Heartbreakers, and Dead Boys, shoring up a curriculum vitae that doesn’t really call for a cover letter.
If it feels like Kevin K albums are falling out of the sky like rain, remember that we're in a rock and roll drought, compared to the '70s and '80s. The walls are closing in, not tumbling down and we need stuff like this like Kim Fowley needs fame. So be thankful for another small mercy and the 18th studio effort under the Kevin K moniker.
Just because it's a budget "fans only" issue doesn't account for this one disappearing into a pile of review albums after protracted plays. So it's been out for the last part of 2008 and most of '09.
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.
Another day, another Kevin K album. Which is not to infer that there's anything throwaway or lazy about "Tramp Stamp". It's simply acknowledging that Kevin K is both amazingly prolific AND good, which is no mean feat.
You probably know that we like our blues all smudged and dirty and it don't come much filthier than Chicken Snake. Hailing from the Manhattan Delta and home to Jerry Teel (Honeymoon Killers, Boss Hog, The Chrome Cranks, Knoxville Girls, Little Porkchop, Jerry Teel & The Big City Stompers ) and his songwriting partner/ wife Pauline Owens-Teel, they've been messin' with heads since 2009.
"Lucky Hand" is the debut album and it's said to have sprung from the Teels' loins after an extended stay in N'Orleans. Swamp rock is a term that's over used to the point of abuse but it's almost adequate to describe what Chicken Snake plays. That said, they haven't abandoned the grim back blocks of New York City (what's left of 'em) - the extended "Trouble In Your Mind" is more "Sister Ray" than "Dust My Broom" with waves of squawling guitar, a grinding rythm and sheets of feedback.
Side one of the LP was recorded at Ocropolis Studio in Brooklyn and has a dense and very live feel. Side two sounds cleaner and more dry. Pick what you prefer, they're both great. Side two's lead track, "Coat Tail Blues", is country-rock with a keen guitar edge, while "Moonshine Blues" is a shuffling duet with Jerry Teel's wheezy harmonica fitting just right.
There's more to Chicken Snake than Mr and Mrs Teel, however, and the band comes into its own on "Hand Me Down Some Snake Skin Shoes", locking in like Dylan's ensemble on "Highway 61 Revisited". This is good juju. How can you go past a swamp blues band with a guitarist called Josh Lee Hooker? Guest Jack Martin adds switchblade slide on half a dozen tracks and ex Sonic Youth drummer Bob Bert plays on three.
Not a lot more to say except that it's on vinyl on French label Beast Records and there's a newie called "Trouble On My Doorstep"coming down the turnpike. Oh, and you should own a copy.It's procurable through any good European online shop or directly from the label.
Ten years after their last album, to say Adelaide's The Mark Of Cain still conveys a wrecking ball punch is like saying China has a lot of people. TMOC occupies the space where hardcore, punk and metal collide and makes unique with a lyrical heaviness that makes listening to Black Sabbath a Sunday walk in the park. This is a band that projects more menace in the space of nine songs than most manage over as many albums.
Look, it's a punk rock record with some funny little new wave songs thrown in. You were expecting prog rock? It's also a bedroom album by Dean Agostino, one-half of Digger and The Pussycats, so that should tell you right there that it's pretty fucking good, OK? DIY rules!
Even if Radio Birdman were the sum of its parts, the solo output of its members surely deserves more than the cursory consideration many have been prepared to give. Case in point is this album. Deniz Tek has built a formidable body-of-work outside the framework of
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