Mitte der 00-er Jahre wollte jede Band möglichst clean klingen, besonders im Glamrock war dies der Fall. Glamrock mit starkem Punkrock-Einschlag war hier eine Außnahme und das waren die Trashcan Darlings. Die Band hatte den großen Durchbruch leider nie geschafft, in kleinen Kreisen hingegen einen Kultstatus geschaffen. Nach deren Auflösung gründete Gitarrist Chris Damian Doll die Band Suicide Bombers.
Erst vor kurzem haben die Trashcan Darlings uns ein Interview (hier nachzulesen) anlässlich der bald kommenden Greatest Hits Compiliation gegeben.
Heute stellt er uns seine wichtigsten Platten vor.
I have so many favorite bands I dive into with equal enthusiasm at different times, so any list I make is subject to change within a few minutes of completion. I certainly have no way of ranking them, but here are nine important records that have stuck with me through the years, and one new one that will at least show some of my musical tastes. They are loosely ranked in the order I discovered them.
1KISS – UNMASKED
Kiss was the first band I discovered that has stuck with me since. I was very young and they made a huge impact. Unmasked is a little more pop than most of their catalogue and I could just as easily have picked Hotter Than Hell or Love Gun, but the thing I really like about Unmasked is the craftsmanship in the arrangements. There are tons of subtle details which makes you find new layers even years after first listening.
Fave songs: Tomorrow, Naked City and Talk To Me.
2W.A.S.P. – W.A.S.P.
After Kiss I discovered W.A.S.P. With W.A.S.P. there was more of a feeling that I „was there as it happened“… even if a few years late for the debut. They felt more contemporary in a way. W.A.S.P. was hard, mean and theatrical, which was cool, but with me it’s always been about the songs and their debut was loaded with great quality songwriting. Blackie’s raspy voice conveys so much emotion, from the softness of Sleeping In The Fire to the full-on rock’n’roll of Hellion. I’m still excited whenever W.A.S.P. release a new record, and most of them are still very very good. I see them live as often as I can and enjoy every time.
Fave songs: L.O.V.E Machine, Hellion and On Your Knees.
3SIGUE SIGUE SPUTNIK – FLAUNT IT
I first heard SSS on one of these Now That’s What I Call Music cassettes, which I bought for the sole reason that Love Missile F1-11 was on it. I had been seeing pictures of them in the magazines for what felt like ages. They looked cool and I was very curious about the sound. . This was something special… something that had never been done before. Elvis style rockabilly songs, done with terminator drum machines, Eddie Cochran bass lines, cold war and glamour lyrics, drenched in space ecco with bits and pieces from movies and other sound effects. I quickly learnt that in order to fully appreciate the music, you gotta embrace the effects and samples the same way you would your favourite guitar lick from a more conventional song; Learn them and love them. It did take a few years from when I first heard that one track ‚til I got the record and started collecting them more seriously. Now I have a huge SSS collection and am still a big fan. I also collect live tapes and those are even wilder. On record the drums and bass are obviously programmed, but live they had 2 drummers who played the beat at the same time and could half tempo or drop out any time they wanted too. The bass was played on one of those early Roland synth guitars, which had a lag… meaning that Tony James had to play a few milli-seconds ahead of the beat to be in time. The guitars who never play a chord, only Chuck Berry style licks and Yana Ya Ya who played all those movie samples live through a cassette deck on stage, while also controlling the space ecco effect for the lead vocal. It was all completely freeform, which means that if they landed a cool fx, they would just keep the song going to let that ring. True madness that will probably never be duplicated, at least not by a rock’n’roll band.
Fave songs: Love Missile F1-11, 21st Century Boy, Rockit Miss USA.
4VAIN – NO RESPECT
I was heavily into the 80’s Hard Rock style, but by the end of the decade a lot of it had gotten a little formulaic and „safe.“ It seemed to be further and further between the really good new bands. Then San Francisco’s Vain came along and blew me away. Vain was more high energy and sleazy than most of what was going on at the time. They meant what they were doing and it came across as „real“ and honest. Davy Vain has a unique voice and a very original way of constructing vocal melodies, which are perfectly complimented by the two lead guitarists choice of notes. This is very original and sounds just as fresh today as it did back then. Out of all the fantastic records that were released in 1989, this is absolutely my favourite. The band has explored many different styles of music through the years, from hard rock to almost 60’s pshychadelia, but because of the strong signature melodies, they never lost their personality doing it. They are currently working on their 9th album and I’m just as excited about that as I was about getting the debut all those years ago. Fave songs: Beat The Bullet, Who’s Watching You, No Respect, Laws Against Love, Icy… the list goes on.
5SEX PISTOLS – NEVER MIND THE BOLLOCKS
I saw the video for God Save The Queen on television and have been hooked ever since. This is truly one of the most important records of all time for me, and also in music history. Great songwriting, great production, great performances by everyone involved and Johnny Rotten’s lyrics, and delivery, lifts the already stellar songs through the roof. This was my introduction to punk rock and is probably still my fave record from the genre.
Fave songs: God Save The Queen, Bodies & New York
6NEW YORK DOLLS – NEW YORK DOLLS
The first truly dirty, street level, Glam-Rock band. They were like the Rolling Stones on steroids. Great image and that element of danger that all the best rock’n’roll bands possess. To me they were also the epitome of how a band can be greater than the sum of its parts. All the members have released good, solid, records after the Dolls, but nothing that beats the original band. Jerry Nolan was the best musician of the group. A tremendous drummer who kept it all together musically, and splashed the arrangements with just enough detail and finesse to give it that extra layer. Johnny Thunders had the amazing, raw, guitarsound that made sure it all reaked Rock’n’Roll. He also had a good minimalistic feel for songwriting that made sure they never steered off course, as well as the best image in the group. Sylvain Sylvain was the best guitarist in the group and a fantastic songwriter with an unparalleled sense of good, catchy melodies. David Johansen gave the music that extra layer with his highly original lyrics painting a perfect picture of the New York City the Dolls inhabited, and ruled, in the early 70’s And Arthur… well, he was Killer Kane.
Fave songs: Frankenstein, Subway Train & Jet Boy
7HANOI ROCKS – SELFDESTRUCTION BLUES
All of Hanoi Rocks‘ 80’s, and most of their reunion-, records are brilliant, but forced to pick only one… this is it. Incidentally it’s not really an album, but a collection of singles, b-sides and new songs to fill the gap while the band was relocating to London, finding a new drummer and working on their 3rd record. Hanoi Rocks had much of the same vibe as the New York Dolls. Street level and dangerous with a musical base solidly planted in Rock’n’Roll, but Hanoi had so many other influences too and were all excellent musicians. They were inspired by Mott The Hoople, punk and a vast selection of other things that shine through in their music… maybe more so on this record than any of the others. Great musicians, great songwriters, great everything, but if one is to pick one defining element that sets Hanoi Rocks apart from the rest, it’s their song arrangements. Well worth lending a keen ear to, if you haven’t already.
Fave songs: Love’s An Injection, Nothing New, Dead By X-Mas… and all the others.
8JACOBITES – ROBESPIERRE’S VELVET BASEMENT
Nikki Sudden & Dave Kusworth’s Jacobites was an amazing band who sadly never got the recognition they deserve. Heavily influenced by the Rolling Stones, they created a style of music that was completely their own. Off center and alive, drenched in romantic imagery and so perfect in its own way. They might be an acquired taste that takes a little getting used to, but once you’re in you’ll never look back. They released 2 records in the 80’s and several records after the reunion in the 90’s. Some of the 90’s records are more easily accessible, such as the masterpiece Old Scarlett, but this is the sound of the original Jacobites and frequently considered their best work. I was lucky enough to get to know both Dave and Nikki and played lead guitar with them on several occasions. Cherished memories of good friends who have now passed on, regrettably.
Fave songs: Son Of A French Nobleman, It’ll All End Up In Tears, All The Dark Rags, I Am Just A Broken Heart and so on…
9WARRIOR SOUL – THE SPACE AGE PLAYBOYS
Warrior Soul had released 3 albums on Geffen Records. All good and they seemed to get better with every release. Droony, political, street level rock’n’roll. By the mid 90’s the major label deal was gone, the band changed gears and released what, to me, is their masterpiece. This is metallic punk, or „acid punk“ as it was dubbed. The lyrics are still somewhat political, but rather than straight party politics, it has more of the personal politics vibe of Johnny Rotten than what it was before, mixed with a lot of other cool imagery. Musically this is highly original with crazy arrangements that work so well. These aren’t your usual verse – chorus songs. They’re arranged more like classical music, or techno, with lots of different parts that build upon each other. This is still one of my all time fave records.
Fave songs: The Drug, Let’s Get Wasted & The Pretty Faces
10SCREAM IDOL – MOVIE MARY
This is the new one and what a pleasant surprise it was when it was released in late 2020. Star Star was an American sleazy rock’n’roll band, from New York City, with a much darker vibe than their west coast contemporaries. They seemed to inhabit the same universe as another favourite of mine, Wayne/Jayne County and it was all dirty, trashy and sleazy on a different level than what was commonplace at the time. Most people will know Star Star from their 1992 album on Roadrunner Records; The Love Drag Years. It had the coolest cover! A painting of a guy with beard stubs putting on red lipstick…. doesn’t get more gutter-glam than that. The songs were killer and Michael Monroe introduced them in the promo video for Science Fiction Boy. A little less known is their 1988 debut album; Go Go Girls In Love. Go Go Girls In Love lacked the big 1992 budget and sounded more like demos, but the songwriting was stellar and maybe even better than that of the Love Drag Years… and that’s saying a lot! Sometime in the 90’s the band broke up, some members died, lead singer and prime mover Johnnie Holliday, and bassist Weeds, moved to Greece and rumors started flying about a new record. Then dead silence… Years later a new song, Pizza Patty, showed up on their Myspace page and rumors started flying again, but still nothing… Now, all these years later Star Star have changed their name to Scream Idol and FiNALLY released a new album and boy is it GREAT! This is probably my most played record lately. The sound has been updated slightly and comes across a little more like later Faster Pussycat, but it’s still unmistakably Star Star (or Scream Idol). All the bubblegum melodies countered by half-step riffs are there, as is that whole wonderful world they create with the imagery they play with. Of the 11 songs you get if you buy the CD, 5 are reworked versions of songs from their first album. Having loved that record for all these years, those took a little getting used to. The new version of Go Go Girls In Love was immediately a favourite and eclipse the original by a lightyear and half, while some of the others took a little more getting used to. They are not just re-recorded, but reworked with new parts, new choruses, and in one instance a new beat. Some of them I prefer the originals, others I lean more on the new version, but for the most part I appreciate both. The record also includes the fantabolous Pizza Patty, which means we finally got a proper release of their MySpace gem. The 5 songs I hadn’t heard before, I presume are all new and they are just as good as the rest. Teenage Doom Disciple and Never Loved Me Back are both very easy to like and contagiously catchy…. especially Never Loved Me Back. Soul Sucker is much the same with a pre chorus to die for, while the two album closers 1000 Years Too Deep and Movie Mary are slower and moodier songs in a vein one hasn’t heard from the band before. Both quickly rose to favorite status. You can hear the album on all streaming platforms, but you will want to get the CD version for the song Kick It Down Baby. A vinyl release is apparently in the works too. „Kick It Down Baby she’s my hi-fi whore!“
Fave songs: Pizza Patti, Kick It Down Baby, Never Loved Me Back, Go Go Girls Act I, 1000 Years Too Deep…. and so on