Binky Philips and the Planets - Established 1972 NYC
Sometimes things just take a while to fall into place. Band leader Philips says that over the years he's written enough songs to fill 10 albums but they never got beyond the demo phase. That changes with this long-awaited debut. The Planets were hanging with the New York Dolls, KISS and the Ramones in NYC back in the mid-'70s, and the spirit of the CBGB scene echoes through cuts like the Stones-gone-punk "Drinking Gasoline" (vocalist Nolan Roberts can sound at times like Mick Jagger), the rough-rockin' "Kinda Liked it at the Time" which has a very hooky, sing-along worthy chorus, and the funk-infused "Leave Me Hanging," a cut that probably would have been remixed and released as an extended play 12" single for the cooler disco clubs had it been released in the '80s. The blues-inflected "Wear out the Grooves" closes out this very impressive and yes,worth the wait effort.
Tav Falco - Cabaret of Daggers
Falco starts his latest with the sensual tango "Nobody's Baby" before moving into earthy pop numbers like the piano and fuzz guitar-festooned "Sally Go 'Round the Roses," the hanging-on-the-edge-of-desperation "Old Fashioned Morphine" and a stark and chilling take on the classic story of racism and lynching that is "Strange Fruit." A sublime take on the Santo & Johnny slide guitar instrumental "Sleep Walk" is another goodie and the oft-covered blues chestnut "Sugar Mama Blues" closes another stellar effort from Falco.
Greg Antista and the Lonely Streets - Shake, Stomp, and Stumble
Antista starts this one off with "Shiver," a cut that has a sound that will resonate with fans of Social Distortion, but country overtones flavor the fast dance cut "Goodnight Ramona" while "U-Haul" has the same pop sensibilities as a Gin Blossoms hit. "Forever" is a fast shuffle and a love song, not just to that special someone but also to living the life of a working musician; the song is the only cut on the album not penned by Antista, having been written by his pal Steve Soto of Agent Orange fame. "Carmelita" echoes the spirit of Springsteen, and while many influences pop up throughout, this four-piece very much has its own groove.
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