Being a small backwater music site it isn’t often that we get to deal with bonafide rock ‘n’ roll icons, so when Brian James latest release turned up in the “to do” pile I was pretty excited about it. For he is quite rightly regarded as a legend, someone who not only has been there and got the tee-shirt, but got there first, re-shaped the musical landscape and probably sold you one of those tee-shirts at some long forgotten back street dive gig, both metaphorically and very likely actually.
From bands such as the short-lived but mythical London SS, through the ranks of The Damned, Lords of The New Church and Mad For The Racket, James has written a number of chapters in the book of punk and underground rock ‘n’roll, so it is only natural that he gathers some of his co-stars from those illustrious annals to help him. With Dead Boys guitarist Cheetah Chrome and Black Halos Adam Becvare helping out James proceeds to do what he does best, incendiary, gutter-trash rock, sleazy punked-out guitar salvos and garage rock anthems.
10 tracks of gloriously uncompromising tunes, often at breakneck speed, loaded with swagger and attitude and delivering the killer punch and showing that he hasn’t forgotten his roots. In an alternative universe this album is the Damned’s debut album, in another it is The Stooges seminal Raw Power. Thankfully in our dimension there is room for all three.