Had enough of being force-fed the same 10 Christmas songs everywhere you go? Here’s the perfect antidote, a cleansing for your musical palate. Add it to your mix CD for Xmas Eve with the family, and odds are good that “go tell the elves to f*ck themselves” will induce the Xmas lovers to shoot eggnog out of their noses.
– Salvi C.
JP “Thunderbolt” Patterson’s brand-spanking new holiday tune, “Coal for Christmas,” is ready to drop. It will be available as a free download at Drugfrontrecords.com starting on Tuesday, Nov. 27.
We got a sneak preview of the song during a recent visit. It’s a witty tune, anchored by toy piano and sleigh bells, full of great quotes such as “working hard on my business, with St. Nick as my witness.” The intro is reminiscent of Run DMC’s “Christmas in Hollis,” and Dean Rispler’s solo channels the best of Robertson/Gorham.
Save a slot for the song in between the Kinks’ “Father Christmas” and the Reducers’ “I Ain’t Getting Nothing for Christmas.” It’s a welcome relief from the holiday horrors.
– Salvi C.
The debut CD from Andy Shernoff has hit the streets! “Don’t Fade Away” is a 4-song EP, released by CD Baby. Extended plays have a curious history of being the red-headed stepson of records. Halfway between a 45 and an LP, they usually served as ways to get the public to buy the same old for a 3rd time. Andy explodes tradition here, with 4 brand-new songs, in 4 different styles. These tunes, along with another batch that’s scheduled to hit the streets next spring, were recorded in the fall of 2011 in Springfield, MO, with the country’s greatest bar band, the Skeletons, acting as back-up. The Skeletons have always served them up fast and short, firm believers in the SWAT team approach of “get in, get out, and don’t give the audience time to get bored.” This EP adheres to that concept, with the whole shebang clocking in at an economical 12:09.
Batting lead-off is “Let’s Get the Band Back Together,” which is one of the funniest things Andy has been part of since “The Dictators Go Girl Crazy.” It’s very glam and catchy, with a call and response of “Come on!” that is total ear candy. I’m thinking the over/under for feather boas in the accompanying video will be 3.
It truly has been a long, cold, lonely winter. Now that the overcoat and shovel are finally put away for the year, it’s time to start thinking about the summer. As a sneak preview “must add” for this summer’s soundtrack, our favorite renaissance man, J.P. “Thunderbolt” Patterson, has sent along an early mix of his forthcoming single. The new tune is called “Life’s Rich Pageant,” and it is 2:40 of pure pop for now people.
Like just about every tune on his 2009 CD, “The LP is Dead,” which is still available from No Fun Records, LRP is right at the sweet spot where the Raspberries meet Thin Lizzy. A punchy intro, a soaring and ascending chorus, a ripper of a guitar solo, and the whole shebang is done before you have a chance to say “wow!” Multiple plays are obligatory.
The final format for Life’s Rich Pageant,” whether cyber-single or an actual 45, is still up in the air, but we’ll share those details once the dust settles. In the meantime, be sure reserve space for the tune on your next mix tape, so you’ll be able to blast it while cruising in your b*tchin’ Camaro with your main squeeze.
– Salvi C.
The new Ross the Boss album, “Hailstorm,” has been out for a couple of months now, and if you’re like me, you’ve been eyeing it with much trepidation. Let’s face facts: Most Dictator fans have not had an easy time with Manowar. Liking both bands is like trying to be a Democrat and a Republican at the same time, much easier said than done. Ross’ current band is cut from the Manowar template, so the question of the day is, does “Hailstorm” have anything that your average beer-swilling Dictator fan can enjoy?
First things first. There are a few basics that have to be accepted. Like every project Ross has ever been associated with, he’s the best thing here by a factor of about a million. No surprises there. The bigger pill that has to be swallowed is the crush-kill-destroy Viking imagery that permeates the lyrics, vastly different from Shernoff’s smart-a** NYC-centric point of view. Much like your fat aunt, this is difficult to get your arms around, and is a reluctant embrace.
Note: This is one of a series of posts in The DFFD Blog Goes Girl Crazy! special — a monthlong commemoration of the 35th anniversary of the release of ‘The Dictators Go Girl Crazy!’
Some reviews from Back in the Day, dug up by my esteemed colleague Salvi C.:
“The Dictators Go Girl Crazy may be the most self-indulgent, impossible, elitist, brilliant recording ever.” – Trouser Press
“This album is vulgar. But impressive.” — Creem
“You’ll go bozos for it!” — Dictators Fanzine #1
Trouser Press, pt. 1
Trouser Press, pt. 2
In 1979 and 1980, the period between the end of the Dictators’ original reign and the birth of Manowar, Ross the Boss did yeoman duty as the guitar god for the French band Shakin’ Street. It’s time to give them a fresh listen.
The logical starting point is their self-titled 1980 album on Columbia. Singer Fabienne’s English as a Second Language vocals don’t always work, and there are points where the material doesn’t keep up with the playing. But RTB is killer throughout, and there are high points tune-wise, with “Solid as a Rock,” “No Time To Lose,” “So Fine” and especially “Susie Wong.” “Susie Wong” is easily the best thing here, a beautiful tune with a nicely structured arrangement that winds its way to RTB’s best bits on the LP, where he’s sympathetic and muscular all at once. It’s simply a great song, and one of the best non-Dics things he’s ever played on. The highs more than compensate for the lows here, and overall this is a pretty solid album. Continue reading
The Hard Rock Hideout recently rediscovered the Manitoba’s Wild Kingdom “lost classic” …And You?:
“‘Haircut and Attitude’ almost sounds like a lost Beastie Boys song. ‘D.W.I.’ is so catchy, it almost sounds like a KISS tune. … I think I am getting more enjoyment out of this CD now than when it was originally released.”
…AND, for YOUr viewing pleasure, a video clip of MWK rocking the 2008 Joey Ramone Birthday Bash:
Gin N' Roses
Drummer jokes. We all know at least a couple. “Why is a drum solo like a sneeze? You can tell it’s coming, but you can’t do anything about it.” What does it mean when the drummer drools out of both sides of his mouth? It means the stage is level.” Well, you can take the drummer jokes and cram ‘em with walnuts, because J.P. “Thunderbolt” Patterson has defied them all with his CD The LP Is Dead, now out on No Fun Records.
My first reaction when hearing about a drummer making an album is “are the songs just excuses for him to show off his chops?” Nothing could be farther from that with this album. J.P. has come up with a collection of catchy, punchy, up-beat tunes. There isn’t one wanker moment here, the songs always come first. And what a batch of songs!! Funny and optimistic, with melodies and choruses that just don’t quit. Patterson proves more than once that Andy Shernoff isn’t the only Dictator who can come up with rock anthems. Give one listen to the title track, or to “One Beverage,” and you’ll find yourself singing the refrains for the rest of the day.