Broooooce Springsteen? Can’t abide him. It’s OK if you do. Different strokes for different folks, right? He’s well and truly present on this three-tracker CD - at least in spirit - but I like it in spite of that.
Like Broooce, Joe Normal and The Anytownr’s frontman Joe Normal grew up among the factories of New Jersey - before making a break for L.A. So the bio says. And he’s landed on Pat (Lazy Cowgirls) Todd’s Rankoutsider Records. Now you’re talking…
Rankoutsider is an outpost of genuine rock and roll, stripped back to its roots rather than wrapped up in ideas of blandness and mainstream acceptance. Joe Normal is backed by journeymen players whose curriculum vitae includes Stiv Bators, Sussana Hoffs, Syl Sylvain and Izzy Stradlin.So they’ve been around.
We Are The Normal – Joe Normal (New Jersey Phonograph)
This is a CD single. I think it's a little sad how the younger generation don't really keep hard copies of CDs or records on the shelf, anymore. They all prefer to store it in the cloud, or whatever, it's just virtualized and abstractly stored in their I-Gadgets. But older rock ‘n’ roll people like me, actually like the little gatefold sleeves with the lyrics and picture.
Joe Normal is my fave USA! USA! power pop contemporary - he writes emboldened singalong anthems for guttersnipes and barflies and aging dishwashers like you and me. He's got a kickass band and always delivers this beautiful pop ‘n’ roll that'll remind you of the freer, cooler, long gone glory days, before the oligarchy mass-hypnotized everyone you knew into eagerly signalling their obedience to the higher-ups, by abandoning their communal nature and critical thinking skills and viciously rat-racing for the most piles of stuff.
I'm not certain who first coined the memorable phrase Glamericana to describe Joe Normal's songs that are part power-pop, part glam rock, and part blue collar romance and workin' man auto-mythology, ala early E Street Band, but it is indeed an apt description.
Joe Normal's visually stimulating, marketing-minded New Jersey glam gang, the Zeros, moved to L.A. in the 1980s and almost immediately made a big splash on the scene. They were recruited by Howard Stern to record his original radio show theme song and had an endorsement from a top name tennis shoe company. California kids were forming bands with multicolored hair in homage to their Zeros heroes.
The purple haired Zeros were kind of like the missing link between Poisonand Green Day. Unless you lived in L.A. in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, it's hard to even remotely grasp how popular the Zeros really were with all the L.A. glam kids, back then, they used to pack 'em in at all the clubs, standing room only, lines around the block.