Like it or not, the Beatles are the most influential band in the history of rock and roll. At times, a band borrows directly from the Beatles sound, as in the case of early Oasis records. The Silvers’ After The Laughter largely follows this path as well. Simple chord progressions and catchy melodies immediately call to mind the boys from Liverpool. Certainly, there are some tracks that are more memorable than others, such as “Little Minds, Little Hearts,” but each song on this album has its own strengths. I particularly enjoyed the innocence of “Good Friends” and the common sense plea to try to get along, a good reminder especially in the volatile political climate of America right now.
Watch the video for “No More (This Time I Mean It)”:
1. Running Away
2. No More (This Time I Mean It)
3. Sunday Girl
4. Little Minds, Little Hearts
5. Good Friends
6. Nothing Really Matters
7. Down and Out
8. Hey, Marie
9. It’s Alright
10. I’m Just the Other Guy
12. So Long
13. You Ask a Lot of Questions
14. When the Time Comes
Mick Orton (bass, vocals, piano)
Tom Kelley (6 & 12 string electric guitar, vocals, harmonica)
Ricky Zero (electric & acoustic guitar, vocals)
Glenn Stone (drums)
Paperback High EP
by Pure Ed
Genterine Records, 2015
Spend less than a quarter of an hour with Pure Ed, and you will be transported back to the 1990s. A very cool garage-band, grungish release, the Paperback High EP is a simple and straightforward rocker. The EP kicks off with an intense title track that would have fit in perfect on the pre-mainstream grunge scene. “Rock & Roll W***e” is a catchy song all about future groupies, while on “Alone Like You,” Pure Ed laments, “I know I’m a joke / In a moment I may choke.” “Maggie” contains the heart-wrenching line, “I remember you like something from a dream.” The EP wraps up with a cover of Elvis Costello’s “Pump It Up,” from the 1978 album This Year’s Model. Pure Ed delivers a faithful rendition, paying homage to one of the original alternative artists.
The original songs remind me very much of Nirvana’s first release (that’s Bleach,, not Nevermind), but with vocals that can actually be mostly understood when they are sung. Fans of the early grunge sound will appreciate Paperback High EP; it is not a slick, overproduced offering. The music speaks for itself without all the fancy bells and whistles often heard on modern rock radio stations.
1. Paperback High
2. Rock & Roll W***e
3. Alone Like You
5. Pump It Up
Possum Kingdom Ramblers
by Possum Kingdom Ramblers
Genterine Records, 2015
Bambi Lynn and Ricky Zero from Radio Cult join forces with Buddy Finethy, Jas Ingram, and Timothy Price to form an entertaining bluegrass album complete with original compositions and interesting cover songs. The self-titled album begins with Ingram’s “When I First Found You,” a story of love at first sight. The next track is a cover of the Blue Öyster Cult classic, “Godzilla.” It’s a kooky cover of a hard rock classic that is just as fun as the original. Listeners may get hungry listening to the album, as the group sings about “Sweet Ice Cream,” “Bar-B-Que” (a Paul Williams cover), and “A Piece of Possum Pie.” There is also a version of Linda Laurie’s theme song for Sid ad Marty Krofft’s Land of the Lost, with an original lead-in, “Sleestak Prelude In A.” Zero and Lynn even get to cover their other band, Radio Cult, with “Saturday Midnight Double Feature,” from RC’s 2011 Never Enough release.
Bass guitarist Zero writes that he and Lynn have been involved with this band for about a year, and says, “This one was a lot of fun!” Not only was it fun for them to record, it’s fun for the listener to hear. My only complaint is the length of the release, only 22 minutes long, but at only $6 it’s difficult to complain too loudly. It just leaves me wanting more!
Watch the video for “Godzilla” below:
1.When I First Found You
3.Sweet Ice Cream
4.Sleestak Prelude in A
5.Land of the Lost
8.Saturday Midnight Double Feature
9.A Piece of Possum Pie
Dressed To Thrill: A Tribute to KISS with Female Vocalists
Genterine Records, 2014
Tribute albums are tricky, especially when the subject of the tribute is an iconic band such as KISS. If you play the song too faithfully, you’re not creative enough. But if you stray too far, you are being disrespectful to the artist’s original vision. A difficult task indeed, but the artists on Dressed To Thrill: A Tribute To KISS with Female Vocalists do a fine job combining their own voice with KISS’ original vision.
The song selection is particularly interesting. In addition to the classics “Detroit Rock City” and “Rock And Roll All Nite,” deeper cuts such as “See You Tonight” from Gene Simmons’ 1978 album and “Love Her All I Can” from Dressed To Kill are included. Many of these songs are very faithful to the originals, with one major difference: all the singers are women. Hollywood Groupies’ “C’mon and Love Me” is perhaps a bit more fiery than the original, and Confession Box follows a different melody on the chorus in “Forever.” The show-stealer on Dressed To Thrill is Karma Lingo’s cover of “I Was Made For Lovin’ You,” a beautiful marriage of rock and pop.
1. Detroit Rock City (Radio Cult)
2. Ladies Room (Killer Kowalski)
3. See You Tonight (Mantlepiece)
4. Parasite (Viva La Venus)
5. A World Without Heroes (October Layne)
6. C’mon and Love Me (Hollywood Groupies)
7. Forever (Confession Box)
8. I Was Made For Lovin’ You (Karma Lingo)
9. Rock And Roll All Nite (Radio Cult)
10. Hard Luck Woman (Willem & Dakota)
11. Love Her All I Can (Killer Kowalski)
Radio Cult vs. Mecha-Radio Cult
Genterine Records, 2013
Another fun release from one of Atlanta’s premiere party bands, Radio Cult vs. Mecha-Radio Cult features three originals and two cover songs. The covers, “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes and “Walk Like An Egyptian” by The Bangles, are fairly straightforward send-ups of the original (though it is interesting to hear “Seven Nation Army” sung by a female rather than Jack White). The originals are where Radio Cult becomes especially fun. “Jet Black Heart” is a standard mid-tempo rocker sung by Bambi Lynn, a throwback to an early-80s Joan Jett. Bassist Ricky Zero takes the mic on “Man Made Monster” and spins the tale of Frankenstein in horror punk fashion. “Saturday Midnight Double Feature Comes Alive!” is a live recording of the song that originally appears on Never Enough. As with that album, my favorite songs on this EP are the horror-themed tunes, but it’s a fun record from beginning to end.
The album art by Peter Cuttler is fascinating as well, as Bambi Lynn is made into a comic book character to fight against a mechanical Bambi Lynn while Ricky Zero watches from a window in a nearby building. Who hasn’t wanted to become a comic book superhero? Not only are the songs fun to listen to, the cover makes it fun coming up with a story to describe what’s going on.
1. Jet Black Heart
2. Seven Nation Army
3. Man Made Monster
4. Walk Like An Egyptian
5. Saturday Midnight Double Feature Comes Alive!
Genterine Records, 2011
Radio Cult built a name for themselves in the Atlanta area playing cover songs, but Never Enough shows that the band has the chops for entertaining originals as well. Most of the songs are straightforward garage rock, nothing earth-shattering, but they are well-constructed songs. Of these, “Get Out Of This Town” is the best of the bunch. Radio Cult really shines, though, when the theme of the song turns to horror. Ricky Zero and Bambi Lynn do an excellent job of bringing out the creepy sounds in “Saturday Midnight Double Feature” and “Shoot The Dead;” the latter has a groove that sounds as if it could be an early demo for Rob Zombie. Classic horror fans in particular, though, will enjoy the wink to old-time local horror movie hosts in “Saturday Midnight Double Feature.”
Budgetary restraints are evident when listening, but Never Enough is a very good release for an independent band with such limitations. The major complaint is the brevity of the album, clocking in at just under 33 minutes. Three songs, however, get the video treatment.
Watch the video for “Get Out Of This Town”:
Watch the video for “Saturday Midnight Double Feature”:
Watch the video for “Shoot The Dead” (featuring cult horror icon Lloyd Kaufman of Troma Films):
1. Get Out Of This Town
2. When I’m With You
3. Saturday Midnight Double Feature
4. Back To You
5. Make The First Move
6. Galaxy Man (Theme Song)
7. I Don’t Believe In Ghosts
8. I Wanna Play With The Bad Boys
9. Just A Distraction
10. Shoot The Dead