Two songs from L.A. based REBEL HOTEL, “The Way I Am” and “Overflow.” Think modern hard rock with a punky edge, sleaze rock flirting with Californian punk rock, VELVET REVOLVER jamming with the DEAD KENNEDYS? Maybe not, but something close!… These guys like their heavy guitar riffs and high-energy drum beats, and you’ll also find a bit of 70s hard rock in “Overflow” too (especially in the guitars.) Two songs isn’t enough, but REBEL HOTEL released a few EPs before that, so check out their website for more!/Laurent C.
(Review by Anguish Young)
I don’t know exactly what gutter these guys crawled out of, but they’ve apparently mixed with the same circle of next generation, punknroll diehards who play on bills with Don Bolles’ Alice Cooper covers band, the Earwigs, and the cream of the L.A. underground’s modernday vanguard—you know—Crazy Squeeze, Black Mambas, Telephone Lovers, Hammered Satin, Dirty Eyes. Keep yer electric eye on Dr. Boogie. Summa these dudes even jammed with the great JOEY PINTER of Knots and Waldos fame.
With a killer logo designed by legendary pop art genius, Adam T. of Altamont Records, DR. BOOGIE are blazing their own smoky trail of snarling guitars, whorehouse pianos and honky tonkin’ harmonicas that impresses upon first listen. They could easily be mistaken for the Diamond Dogs, and that’s high praise, indeed. These dudes are coming on strong, right out of the gate. This is classic glitter glam nastiness blasting outta yer broken speakers with a bona fide sleazy, raunchy authority seldom ever heard in these cold, sterile times; when we’re all expected to nod along and talk about the facking same old gimmick crazed techno, hack actresses with ukeleles, or bogus banjo brigades, some more. You hellions and havenots all know what I’m talkin’ about-dark little old man bar music that celebrates the goodtimes, the booze, the girls and friends you better appreciate now ’cause tomorrow it might all be gone.
These guys seem to really GET the “be alive now” part cause they rock with a true energy. LOVE the vocals and how often you hear me say that? Almost never. Last time we really got a whiff of a band that had this kinda scuzzy heart and soul AND a world class production value, courtesy of one Gabe Lowry, was probably that band, JET, who the Olympics ruined by overplaying their hit like ten years ago. They reminded me immediately of Jo Dog and Paul Black’s Sonic Boom, Dogs D’Amour, London Quireboys, Filthy Lucre. The voice is fabulously suited for this down and dirty style of regal guttersnipe ragged glory. If you like the Faces, the Bounty Hunters, the Jacobites, the Joneses, Free, Mott The Hoople, Flamin’ Groovies, or Silverhead, here are the new boys.
In dark days like this, when the old guard keeps dying off, irreplaceable rocknroll heroes like Ian McLagan, Bobby Keyes, Billy Rath, etc., it’s encouraging to spot the sleazy rocknroll cavalry coming over the hill, knives clenched between their teeth. Scarves and tambourines and blue velvet suitjackets and loud laughs to be had–rocknroll the way it’s supposed to sound. Sharp shoes, sunglasses at night, swaggering lads out on the tiles. I can’t really find anything to not like about these guys. I wanted to make this record when I was in my twenties and almost died trying. I failed, where these guys have succeeded, in a supreme fashion. Chris P., Dustin James, Jeff Turpin, and Luis Herrera just have that magic thing that few ever really come by honest, anymore. This e.p. came out and grabbed me by my frilly blouse and made me wanna go on a diet and play billiards and dance on the bartops and preen by the cigarette machine. Okay you can see how long it’s been since I’ve been to the pub.
These lads will make you want to wear feathers and form a dart team. Think Marionette Meets The Babys meets Detective with a little bit o’ Heartbreakers. Good lyrics, primo drummer, raunchy as hell guitars. This is really fabulous stuff. Rodney On The Roq is even spinning them. They look so young, too. This is probably every bit as good as that first Buck Cherry album. They are almost like a modern day Hollywood Brats. Go see DR. BOOGIE, one of the most promising pub rock/seventies radio pop/trashy punkroll/blues bands to storm the yellow brick road to the ever beckoning, eternally seductive neon lit Hollywood mirage, that always seems to promise strippers and cocaine on airplanes but usually only delivers heartache and despair, in like, forever. They even seem to have a desire to really bring the audience all aboard with them, show everybody a good time, you can just tell they are born entertainers. When was the last time a band cared about the people? The Babysitters? The Waldos? Been a long time, been a long, lonely, lonely, lonely time. You’re gonna love these cats. Trust me, I hate almost everybody. I love “Life On The Breadline”! This is full fledged Evil Kenievil rocknroll! I hope they get a bartender on stage with them like Rod and the boys. Fabulous stuff.
Nice to hear from L.A’s LIVING DEAD LIGHTS 3 years after their promising 7 song CD. Mixing hardcore energy with a chorus reminding bands like PAPA ROACH on opener “”I’ll Be Your Frankenstein” , the band still sounds modern without sounding flat and overproduced ( the album is produced by Fred Archambault, AVENGED SEVENFOLD…), and keeps on hitting hard with songs like “Follow”, “It’s Drowning In My Veins” or “Hey Stranger.”
From US alternative rock influences (“Everybody”, “Vacant”, “This Is Our Evolution”) to contemporary hard rock, LIVING DEAD LIGHTS sometimes make me think of a modern version of STONE TEMPLE PILOTS with a touch of Californian sleaze rock (The GUNS N’ ROSES influence can definitely be heard in the guitars.) This well balanced mix gave birth to potential hits such as “Dead To Myself'” or “Johnny” (a song that was previously released on the band’s 7 song CD), and
while it’s easy to remain stuck in the past when you’re a rock band in Hollywood, LIVING DEAD LIGHTS shows us that L.A. rock influences can fit in nowadays music as well. They will be touring Europe in October./Laurent C.
SMASH FASHION are bringing back 60s/70s dandyism in the L.A. scene. We knew that former QUIREBOYS member Nigel Mogg used to be in the band, and that former members of SMACK and ROCK CITY ANGELS are also part of the gang, but we wanted to know a bit more about SMASH FASHION. Roger Deering (vocals/guitar) answered our questions…
Can you tell us about Smash Fashion’s history?
Smash Fashion was formed around 10 years ago as a reaction to the boring local music scene that we were seeing. We wanted to have a show band that had great songs bring back the entertainment factor that seem to be missing. We were a bit more psychedelic and 60s obsessed in the beginning although we always had a yen for power pop and glam rock, 70s glam rock. The original lineup had Bruce Duff on-base Jamie Patrick on guitar and Mark contento on drums …this lineup lasted about three years. This was also the lineup that recorded our first album “A Gentleman’s Guide to Sophisticated Savagery.”
There are strong British rock ‘n roll influences in your music, do you think ex-Quireboys’ Nigel Mogg played a big role in that, or was it just natural for you to write such songs?
As much as I love Nigel he’s got absolutely zero influence on me as far as my songwriting. This band had been around for quite a while before Nigel came aboard. Although it was natural for him to fit in as he likes to same kind of music we do and yes there is a big English rock influence on what we are doing and what I write. Beatles, Who, Stones, Queen, Zeppelin Thin Lizzy , Sex Pistols, The Damned, The Buzzcocks all huge influences on my songwriting in my approach to music …and The Clash of course! Then again The Velvet Underground, Cheap Trick, Alice Cooper, Mc5, Jane’s Addiction …there’s plenty of American rock ‘n roll what we do also.
How have the reactions to your album “Big Cat Love” been so far in the US and abroad? where did you record it, and how much time did it take?
The response to this record has been overwhelmingly great. We’ve been getting rave reviews from all over the world! Japan, Sweden, Brazil, Italy, UK. We recorded it here in Los Angeles at three different studios in three different sessions so it took a little while as it was recorded over over a longer time span. We are quite happy with the song selection as well as the actual sound of the record but the best is yet to come from us!
Is the album out on vinyl?
Not yet, but we do hope to have it out on vinyl soon. We are also considering having a different song selection as there are quite a few really good outtakes that were left off the CD version.
What bands have you opened for? Have you played in Europe yet?
We’ve done shows with a lot of great and legendary artists. Ian Hunter quite a few times. Arthur Lee and Love. Who in my opinion is one of the greatest rock stars of all time. The Psychedelic Furs. Cheap Trick. The Alarm ..Missing Persons… Jet..The Zombies…Electric Prunes..We were in the UK 2 years ago playing shows…hope to get to Europe in the next year.
Five of your favorite albums?
It really depends on the mood and then but I guess I do have some favorites that I’ve never turn my back on. The Damned “Machine Gun Etiquette” is definitely one. Led Zeppelin “Physical Graffiti”‘s definitely another. Cheap trick’s first album is also a constant in my world. Alice Cooper “School’s Out” is another. I also like a lot of newer stuff I’m not stuck in the past I really loved The Libertines “Up The Bracket” record.
Last book you read?
The Devil All The Time by Donald Ray Pollock… A powerful and disturbing book highly recommended.
Last movie you’ve seen?
How about last good movie I’ve seen? Which was Beasts of the Southern Wild, loved it and yes I cried.
Favorite places to buy clothes?
Favor clubs and places to hang out in LA?
I like a lot of the usual old-time places like The Troubadour, The Whiskey, The Rainbow, but I also love the Redwood bar and Grill, but I don’t hang out that much I’m more about hanging out with my two dogs and playing guitar. I’m a bit of a loner that way and I’m totally fine with it.
What’s next for Smash Fashion?
Well we’ve got shows booked for August and like I said earlier in the interview we are trying to get over to Europe to do some touring there … And in my humble opinion we have yet to make the definitive Smash Fashion record so stay tuned!
If bands were rewarded for the work they actually do, then PRIMA DONNA would be everywhere on TV and radio, and they would be bigger than ARCTIC MONKEYS! Of course, these four Californian guys have already been quite successful, opening for ADAM ANT or GREEN DAY, but they do so much more, always touring, playing each and every club in the US and all around Europe…
Since they’re on tour right now (see dates below), their German record label Wanda Records decided to release this great looking black & red 7″ vinyl. “Living In Sin” offers us a perfect mix of 70s glam rock and 60s power pop, killer guitars and catchy vocals, and “Rubbish” displays a more punk rock’n’roll side of the band, CHUCK BERRY guitars meets LITTLE RICHARD piano with the energy of The DICTATORS!
I’ve never been disappointed with PRIMA DONNA so far, today I’ve heard their version of the DOGS “I’m Just Losing That Girl“, and I really hope this one will be released on vinyl too!.. Until that, there’s only 300 copies of this record, so be fast!/Laurent C.
29.04.2014: D-Düsseldorf, Pitcher
30.04.2014: D-Erlangen, Scheune
01.05.2014: D-Essen, Freakshow
02.05.2014: D-Bremen, Lila Eule (+ Fabulous Disaster)
03.05.2014: D-Helgoland, RocknRoll Butterfahrt
05.05.2014: D-Kassel, H**s (w/ Lombego Surfers)
06.05.2014: D-Hannover, Cafe Glocksee
07.05.2014: D-Kiel, Schaubude
08.05.2014: D-Hamburg, Club am Donnerstag
09.05.2014: D-Dresden, Chemiefabrik
10.05.2014: CZ-Raice, Rockem Proti Rakovine Fest
11.05.2014: CZ-Valasské Mezirící, M Klub
12.05.2014: SK-Kosice, Collosseum
13.05.2014: A-Vienna, Arenabeisl
14.05.2014: A-Klagenfurt, Ke Theater/Messehalle 11
15.05.2014: I-Ronca, Jack the Ripper
16.05.2014: I-Bologna, Freak Out Club
17.05.2014: I-Rome, Traffic
18.05.2014: I-Milano, Ohibo (w/ The Crooks)
19.05.2014: I-Conzano, UVA Blu
20.05.2014: F-Valence, Mistral Palace
21.05.2014: F-Perpignan, L’Ubu
22.05.2014: E-Castellon, Four seasons
23.05.2014: E-Burgos, Estudio 27
24.05.2014: E-Vitoria Gasteiz, Hell Dorado
25.05.2014: E-Donostia, Le Bukowski
26.05.2014: F-Bordeaux, Bootleg (w/ Bob Wayne)
27.05.2014: F-Lorient, Le Galion
28.05.2014: F-Orleans, 5eme
29.05.2014: F-Paris, Les Mains d’Oeuvres (w/Fire! Fire! Fire! + Sugar Sugaar)
30.05.2014: F-Lille, El Diablo
31.05.2014: D-Hünxe, Ruhrpott Rodeo
Two years ago, I really enjoyed “Blame It On Brandy”, the debut 7″ of L.A. dandy rockers SMASH FASHION (the band of ex-SMACK Repo and ex-ROCK CITY ANGELS Lloyd Stuart Casson ; ex-QUIREBOYS Nigel Mogg was also in the band for a while), so I was quite curious to hear this full album. Opener “Wicked Ways” reminds me of late HELLACOPTERS stuff (“Aim For The Heart” and “Stairs To Nowhere” also sound close to the Swedish rock’n’rollers’ music), 70’s rock’n’roll with early KISS riffs and great melodies! Power pop and glitter rock fans will love “Marionette”, “Big Cat Love”, “Blame It On The Brandy”, “Stay Off My La La”, and “Super Glam”( of course!), while “Strike My Fancy (Knickers Down)” will probably be QUIREBOYS‘ fans’ new favourite tune!
The band also manages to have a ballad (“You Love To Suffer”) that doesn’t sound cheesy (think of BOWIE and SUEDE with an American rock touch) and gets in the STONES territory on “Just A Kiss At The Starting Line.”
The City of Angels has found its new glam rock kings that will also make the mods dance, and we can only hope to see them in Europe!/Laurent C.
The rocknroll underground is still in mourning, with a host of constellations paying homage to so many fallen stars-like Bootsey X, Scott Ashton, Leee Black Childers and the inspired glitter-doll Ultras poet, Alice Starr. We attempted to interview his former guitarslinger, Brian Butler–who also played with Rozz Williams in Daucus Karota and Kenneth Anger, via e-mail last year, but he never finished his reply, meanwhile, our best efforts to track down the enigmatic androgyne, Alistarr, had similarly proven ineffective. As many of you remember, the gloriously glam Ultras had been on Triple XXX records and were poised to carry on in the shadowy tradition of the Nymphs and Jane’s Addiction and 45 Grave with their spooky, spacey, death-punk vibes, Sabbath crunch, Bowie spectacle and Alistarr‘s unique charisma and star power. He had first gained recognition in the Sunset Strip faves, Stars From Mars, who Fred Berger made so famous in the pages of his glossy “Propaganda” goth boutique magazine. The Ultras saw Alistarr developing his highly potent wordplay and pop songcraft. They were one of those bands with a magical musical chemistry, like Hello Disaster, who just broke up too soon due to pointless personality conflicts. The Ultras were exciting and surreal, artistic, and fun. Alistarr briefly resurfaced in some bands few of us heard like the ill fated Dali Gaggers, and the Coils, he had many fans hoping to cheer his return to splendor, but it was not to be. The Galactic Kid has indeed gone sailing.
One of Alistarr‘s longtime friends and colleagues, Evad Fromme, has an underground cult band in Hollywood called Moonchasers, who will remind gutter punk and goth enthusiasts of all their favorite Hollywood noir punk bands. Live, they even sometimes throw-in a Coma-Tones cover! Great band, great songs! Look for them! They had some tunes up on Youtube and Reverb Nation that positively smoke, reminding me variously of Stiv Bators, Nick Cave, Jeffrey Lee Pierce and Tom Waits. “Lazy Eye Blue” is a little reminiscent of the Ultras with the bratty vocal, but it has a real pleasing, Jim Morrison quality that fans of sixties psychedelics, like the Doors and Zombies will naturally gravitate towards. Their guitarist is amazing, they should play shows with Captain Zapped! “Billie For My Blues” is catchy, singalong genius that evokes all the skid row dives and sleazy strip joints of L.A. and will remind anyone who ever lived in the down and out gutters of deadend Tinsel Town of their own personal booze fuelled misadventures.
“Lunchbox Girl” is yet another pop hit, all retro bubblegum and starkly lit storytelling showcasing Evad’s fine vocals and literate sensibility. A modern-day “Hello I Love You”. It’s kind of like Iggy Pop, out on a weekend pass from the Kill City looney bin with Alice Cooper and Captain Beefheart on a stumbling pub-crawl between the Rainbow, Cathouse, English Acid, and Raji’s, in rumpled hats, stained shirts, bad shoes, with empty flasks. I love a band that is this cinematic. Their songs will remind you of Jim Jarmusch. Evad‘s on the ouji board summoning back the ghosts of Jim Morrison and Jim Carroll and Gio Vitanza. If you live in Los Angeles, this is your new favorite group. If you live elsewhere, they are worth seeking out on-line, because this band is the intelligent, visceral rocknroll experience you’ve been missing, since the media monopolies took down all the cool indie labels in the nineties. Startlingly vivid guitars, a top-notch rhythm section, and a creepy, charismatic frontman with an unnerving, provocative presence, a totally unique voice all his own, and serious songwriting ability. Hollywood vampires rejoice, rocknroll is still undead in the city of fallen angels. The Moonchasers—Evad Fromme, Gabriel Hammond, Anthony Gezalyan, and Tom Sanford are stone killers. See their lonely minds explode.
My name is Teddy Heavens and I’m bringing you the latest Sleaze/Glam/Punk/Metal and Trash rock and roll news from the Golden State and the streets (and gutters) of Hollywood, California! From the Valleys to the alleys, I’ll find the coolest bands to report on and let you know what’s up from the Rock and Roll capital of the world!
Check out my Glam Punk website at www.ftwrecords.com
Bands I’ve been digging the last few months:
The Strypes– A young band from Ireland looking like Oasis and keeping the New Wave of Blues alive, and ready to overtake Vintage Trouble. They just finished up a run of live dates all through the United States along with some major TV appearances, and they are everywhere with the social media and advertising. Keep an eye at www.thestrypes.com
Diamond Lane– Good Los Angeles based cock rock band in the tradition of G N R and Skid Row. Cool sound and look and I plan on catching a live show when they play out. Looks like they have done some regional touring. Check em out at http://www.diamondlanerocks.com
Like An Army-This group features ex King Of The Hill singer Frankie, and members of the ultra cover band Dr. Zivegas. Their video for “Taste Of It” is the bomb, and my personal favorite. Good, catchy hard rock and the video features naked tattooed honeys. Can’t wait to hear the rest of the music. Look up the video on YouTube.
Crashdiet– New release of old demos featuring the original line up. People go crazy for this band and you can check out the humble beginnings. Very nice package with bonus tracks, much better than what the current band is putting out. Good sounding and sleazy enough to seek out. I still wonder why they cite GG Allin in their press materials as an influence. Get it all at www.crashdiet.com
I Love Rich– Rich sent me the new CD from his band and I love the tunes. These guys sound like a cross of KISS/AC-DC and Black and Blue, with catchy and dirty heavy tunes. Hit em up at www.iloverich.net
Youth Code– A 2 piece industrial/noise band from East Hollywood that is the West coast answer to Atari Teenage Riot. They have a couple of indie releases out and most recently toured with AFI. Get all the scoop on them if you dig ATR or Suicide! www.facebook.com/youthcodeforever
The Drama– Straight up cool rock and roll band from L.A. making noise with a Thursday night residency at Loaded on Hollywood Blvd. Glitz/glam/sweat, check em out if in Hollywood on vacation. Featuring my bro Conrado P. from the Hedwig and The Angry Inch band that we played in together. www.facebook.comthedramalosangeles
What’s been up in Los Angeles:
Upcoming: Rainbow Bar and Grill 42nd anniversary party featuring Great White, Bullet Boys, Traci Gunns and Bitch. Always a good party in the parking lot, a who’s who of Hollywood rock and roll shows up for this annual party! I’ll have a Long Island Ice Tea for you all and give a report in the next DTR!!!
Winter NAMM recap: I usually stay away from crowded industry events, but got talked into going to the NAMM show this year. This show is where all musicians and fans collide in one big party. Highlights included seeing Doyle from the Misfits, the Twisted Sister guys, Slayer and my bro Shawn Smash from Total Chaos. Also hanging out with my bros Roger Romeo and Mike Prince from Legs Diamond and meeting Derek St. Holmes from the classic Ted Nugent band and Earl Slick from David Bowie’s band and the New York Dolls. There was a jam at our hotel pool and court yard that featured a bunch of classic rock guys playing all their hits and of course all the free booze you could handle. NAMM is the only place where you can see old friends, rock stars and other fuckers you don’t want to see, all in one loud and hot and sweaty place!
The Funkin Maniacs-I have to mention my bros band, Roger Romeo, as he’s playing in a trio with the drummer and bass player from the classic Swan Song records band Detective, and these guys have chops for days, also worth looking up if you are vacationing in Los Angeles, as they are playing around town most weekends.
Upcoming: The 4th Annual Johnny Thunders Memorial Show: Headlining this year’s show will be the one and only Walter Lure with The Waldos. Walter will have “rent party” guitar slinger Joey Pinter. Bands confirmed are THE ZEROS all original members in a rare appearance, plus local stars, Crazy Squeeze,Prima Donna, Telephone Lovers, Dirty Eyes, Black Mambas,The Neurotics, Devil Dogs West, and Electric Children. There will also be special guests playing with Walter Throughout his set. Gonna be a good time, I’ll give the 411 in the next DTR.
If you want me to review your music or write about your event, send it all to:
27750 Firebrand Dr.
Castaic, Ca. 91384