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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Cheetah Chrome

Solo

Review by Gary Hill

I think when it comes to punk rock bands that the Dead Boys were my favorite. Cheetah Chrome was the guitarist in the Dead Boys. I always loved his sound with that outfit. So, when I heard he had a solo disc coming out, I was excited. This wasn’t the disc I was expecting. That’s not a bad thing, though. While this doesn’t really sound like The Dead Boys, it’s an incredibly strong set. It’s got a wide variety of musical styles and this thing just plain rocks.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Sharky

As this thing kicks out, I’m instantly hooked. It’s got a great retro rock sound. There is a lot of Americana built into this mid-tempo rocker. The organ really adds to the old school flavors. Chrome’s guitar fills are tasty. I really love the lead guitar solo. The solo itself is tasteful and the sound is great. This instrumental is a great way to start things in style.

East Side Story
This has a retro sound, too, but doesn’t lean as far back as the opener does. It feels more like something Lou Reed would do. Chrome’s vocals are more in line with his punk rock roots. The song is more of an acoustic based rocker, though.
Rollin' Voodoo
The grind that opens this thing is classic. This has a definite punk meets retro feeling to it. It’s meaty and powerful. The first vocals are echoey, distorted and distant. The vocals on the chorus are straightahead, though. This thing is very much a mainstream rock and roll tune. It’s also one of the highlights of this set. There is so much going on here, and every bit of it is great. There is Americana, space music, punk and so much more. I absolutely love this stomper.
Stare into the Night
Although there is still a bit of classic rock in the mix, this is the most thoroughly punk tune thus far. It’s energetic and angry and a lot of fun.
No Credit
Old time rock merges with punk on this piece. It’s got a great hook and the lyrics are clever. The energy level is awesome and this is another strong tune, showing yet another side.
Nuthin

The opening here is on acoustic guitar. It works to a melodic rocker that’s still punk. It’s probably the first song that’s really made me think of The Dead Boys at all. That said, the connection in my head is closer to Dead Boys lead singer Stiv Bators’ post Dead Boys band The Lords of the New Church. Some of the vocal delivery here makes me think of Bators quite a bit. This is cool rocker that’s one of my favorites here.

Love Song to Death
Melodic classic rock styled music is the order of the business here. Somehow the music makes me think of “Ain’t It Fun” from the Dead Boys a bit. This is slower than that and less punk in terms of the crunch, but the melody seems similar. This isn’t a ballad, but it’s a slower moving tune that’s mellower than some of the other stuff here. It’s also very classy, like everything else.

 

 
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