Kevin K “and The CBGB Years”

The CBGB was KEVIN K‘s own rock’n’roll highschool, a classroom in which students would carefully study the RAMONES, the DEAD BOYS and the NEW YORK DOLLS. This is an 18 song live retrospective CD of Kevin (and his brother Alan) K’s years in New York City’s rock’n’roll temple, from 1984 to 1997. It starts with NEW TOYS and their catchy new wave, then you can hear 7 LONE COWBOYS songs recorded in 1985, including beautifully chaotic covers of RICHARD HELL & THE VOIDODS (“Love Comes In Spurts”) and ALICE COOPER (“Raped and Freezin”‘.) Honestly, I’ve always wondered why LONE COWBOYS didn’t make it in those days… While their music was the logical road to take after NEW TOYS, they had this dark and urban feel that people refer to as post-punk nowadays, making them the right band at the right moment. Well, you’d think so… Maybe England and France would have welcomed them better in those days? The same way they did with The LORDS OF THE NEW CHURCH for instance, who knows?…
You’ll also find 3 ROAD VULTURES songs on this CD (recorded in 1993), and 4 KEVIN K BAND songs recorded in 1997. It’s interesting to hear Kevin’s musical evolution through these 18 songs, from American new wave to JOHNNY THUNDERS inspired rock’n’roll. It all seems natural and logical after you’ve listened to this live album.
Besides the document value of this record, it’s good to hear real live recordings, you can almost feel the beer, the smoke and the pee Kevin talks about in the introductoiry text. /Laurent C.

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New Toys “Made In Buffalo”

30 years later, Kevin K (who used to be the band’s drummer!) and friends reunite to record a new album of their first band! NEW TOYS stopped playing in 1982 after 4 years of activity and a relocation in New York City. This is where Kevin and his brother Alan decided to stay and formed The LONE COWBOYS and ROAD VULTURES after the NEW TOYS split.
The band decided to get together again and play a show in last May before thinking of recording songs for an album: 15 songs among which you’ll find 8 new versions of original NEW TOYS tracks, 2 1980 demo songs and 5 live songs.
The songs on which Kevin sings (“Do You Really Know”, “Delirious”,”Talking About You”, “Stay Away” …) are catchy power pop tunes that sometimes get very close to Kevin’s glammy bubblegum punk pop solo songs while the other ones sung by Doug Tyler and Meat Cleaver sound more melodic punk rock’n’roll (“On Our Way”, “Bosco Boy”…) or even pub rock ; “Let Go of My Heart” for instance can sure appeal to any DR. FEELGOOD fans for instance. To top it all, “Running Away” and “Instant Suicide”, the 1980 demo songs are killer early punk tracks that should have become classics in a perfect rock world!
Whether you’re familiar with Kevin’s carreer and works (if you’re not, then you should be!) or not, “Made In Buffalo” is a great way to start where it all came from… The album is available both from Tornado Ride Records (Europe) and RealKat Records (USA.) /Laurent C.