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Non-Prog CD Reviews

The Hangmen

Lost Rocks: Best of the Hangmen

Review by Gary Hill

One of the troubles with punk rock, and according to some original punks, one reason it faded, is that the style is very limited. That means that a lot of times punk rock albums tend to drag as a lot of the music feels the same. This disc seldom suffers from that. Of course, it does mean there’s only so much a reviewer can say about each song to differentiate them.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 6 at

Track by Track Review
Blood Red

Punk rock meets old time rock and roll on this cool opener.

This one’s more pure punk and the vocals remind me a bit of Stiv Bators. The guitar solo is a real screamer.
Never Go Home
Although the punk rock still lives here (and dominates), the guitar at times brings a real blues element to the table.
Imagine a mellow rockabilly jam with a punk sneer and you’ve got a good idea of what the first part of this is like. Comparisons to the Stones’ journeys into country come to mind. They power it out with a bluesy, hard rocking instrumental section, but drop it back to the mellower segment to continue. We get another journey into the harder rocking zone before it ends.
This one’s definitely more pure punk rock. It works quite well and again Stiv Bators seems a good reference. In fact, with a little less hard rocking edge, this feels like that band quite a bit.
Desperation Town
While the main jam here is punk rock oriented, the harmonica brings some blues to the table. It’s a cool, mid-tempo grind.
Wild Beast
The only real punk rock on this one comes from the vocals. Sure, there is a certain raw approach to the music, but really it’s good old pounding hard classic rock.
Rotten Sunday
We have a hard rocking tune on the introduction here with a riff that feels very familiar. It drops to mellower modes for the verse, but it rocks out at other times.
I Wanna Be Loved
More straight ahead punky, this has a killer guitar presence that’s very noisy and feedback laden.
My Way
A live track, this is more killer punk rock.
I Luv U
Here we get more of that punk goes country texture on an acoustic rocker that’s quite cool.
The Devil
This time it’s another punk rock styled tune with slide guitar brining in blues elements.
Although there are no major changes on this straight ahead punk rocker, the music is nowhere near to feeling redundant. It’s just got way too much energy for that.
Coal Mine (with Eddie Spaghetti)
This live track doesn’t vary a lot from the other music here, and it’s the first place the set seems to feel a little samey.
Can't Stop That Train
Old school acoustic rock meets punk sneering on this tune.
Your Turn To Die
The first of three previously unreleased demos, this is raw and extremely tasty, and I love how the guitar solos throughout.
Water Down Below
Here we get another of those demos and this one is another killer rocker.
Mountain Home
The final track is the final demo and it sounds remarkably good for a demo. It’s not all that different from the rest of the music on the set, though.
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