1. Armored Saint - Punching The Sky My favorite metal band of 2020 was my favorite metal band in 1984…the mighty Armored Saint. This is their best in a decade and one of the best of their career. John Bush is the Paul Rodgers of metal, a swaggering bluesy beast over vintage yet modern power metal. I fucking love this band.
2. Kix - Midnight Dynamite Re-Lit Producer Beau Hill went back and stripped away all that bad ‘80s reverb and my favorite Kix album it sounds the like AC/DC meets Aerosmith album it always should have. And the demos are way cool, junior!
3. Fiona Apple - Fetch the Bolt Cutters The piano in the opening song “I Want You To Love Me” literally made me burst into tears when I first heard it. And every time since. Not kidding.
4. The City Kids - Things That Never Were Best OC Punk band Leeds ever produced! These guys got a Social Distortion by way of Backyard Babies vibe that just won’t quit.
Los Angeles-via-Detroit underground punk legends The Dogs have unleashed a new digital single “Under The Coast” that was co-written with and features fellow rock ‘n’ roller Frank Meyer (The Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs,James Williamson & The Pink Hearts) on guest vocals and guitar.
The socially conscious, topical song is available now through Chicanery Chick Records/Die Laughing Records on all digital formats, and deals with the chaos and dissonance of modern times.
Plenty of people won’t “get” this record. That’s the inherent risk when you move forward and don’t stay comfortably treading water in one swimming pool.
It’s the second solo album for James Williamson (third if you count the live one with The Careless Hearts) and “Behind The Shade” doesn’t kiss-off his substantial Iggy & The Stooges legacy. More pointedly, it reinforces that Williamson is no one-trick pony.
Of course you should know James for inventing one of the most brutal guitar styles ever. Iggy himself paid him a back-handed compliment by saying that his former collaborator filled every possible space in their band’s soundscape. He did say it was to the point of claustrophobia, or words to that effect.
The debut album from ex-Iggy and the Stooges guitarist James Williamson and his new band, The Pink Hearts, comes out on June 22 and we’ll have a review live in about a week.
“Behind the Shade” by James Williamson and The Pink Hearts will be on Williamson’s own Leopard Lady Records and is a diverse but powerful effort, with Frank Meyer (Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs) and Petra Haden (That Dog) sharing lead vocals.
Haden was one of the feature vocalists on Williamson’s album of previously unreleased studio versions of Stooges songs, “Re-Licked”. She also contributed violin to “The Departed” on the final Stooges album. “Ready To Die”.
On “Behind The Shade”, Williamson supplies all of the riffs, guitar parts and most of the bass. The album also includes a host of accompanists.
They include Michael Urbano (Smash Mouth, Bourgeois Tagg, Todd Rundgren, John Hiatt) on percussion, Gregg Foreman, Hervé Salters, Paul Roessler, Nick Hart, and Audrey Vera on keyboards and piano, Jason Carmer on bass, Don Rooke on lap steel, Geoff Yeaton and Tony Peebles on saxophone and Steffen Kuehn on trumpet.
Click Read More for a video teaser and the tracklist.
One More Drink – The Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs (Dead Beat Records)
Eighteen years after their last record and a quarter of a century since they formed, the Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs have roared back to deliver their best yet. A baker’s dozen songs, overflowing with guitar power and pop hooks. “One More Drink” kicks harder than a toddler with a tooth-ache having a sugar-deprived tantrum in the confectionery aisle of a supermarket.
The Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs might be named for the Stooges but they’re from Los Angeles, a shiny and often cruel place that coincidentally did the Dum Dum Boys no favours, but they mix so many influences you might wonder which box to put them in. Don’t bother. There’s punk,Motor City jams, Cheap Trick-style pop and new wave, mixed in with Motorhead-flavoured metal, boogie rock and speedcore.
When Wayne Kramer was in the ascendancy as a solo artist in the early ‘90s, the Cheetahs were his touring support and backing band for a spell. Five studio albums, two live records, a split with the BellRays,singles with Cherie Curie and Deniz Tek, and another EP were the fruits of their hard slog before splitting in 2002.