Top Sounds - R

REPLACEMENTS, THE - For Sale: Live At Maxwell’s 1986 {Rhino} So, you know how great THE ‘MATS are right? And you know I could wax lyrical about the band’s greatness for forever and a day, right? So, the release of this, the first ‘official’ live ‘MATS on vinyl literally had me weak-kneed but a mess on the ladder of success and afraid I'd take one step and miss the whole first rung. So - what d’ya get? There’s a total of 29 tracks spread over two vinyl discs recorded at Maxwell’s in Hoboken, New Jersey on 4 February 1986. It was part of the dates promoting the ‘Tim’ album, with Bob Stinson still in the line-up, and tracks from that feature heavily. It sees THE ‘MATS in fine form and on good behaviour too with none of the infamous audience antagonism or multiple unrehearsed covers. Here they only do a half-hearted but entertainingly fantastic take on THE SWEET’s ‘Fox On The Run’ along with pretty serious takes of the BEATLES’ ‘Nowhere Man’ and T-REX’s ‘Baby Strange’ (plus ‘Black Diamond’), and Westerberg remains relatively mute towards the crowd. Elsewhere all previous releases are well represented, along with a few b-sides and even a burn-through the unreleased-at-the-time-of-recording ‘Can’t Hardly Wait’. Highlights? Too hard to state but ‘Johnny’s Gonna Die’ always registers highly for me, the reworking of ‘Answering Machine’, the fury of the ‘Fuck School’, ‘Take Me Down To The Hospital’ and ‘Takin’ A Ride’ triumvirate, ‘Bastards Of Young’ and ‘Color Me Impressed’... I could go on but I think you get the picture. Comes with a neat single sheet insert with pics from the gig, a smart Bob Mehr text and natty photo-heavy gatefold sleeve. And yep, of course it’s essential - even to those who may have the gig as a bootleg already. Now, what we need is an ‘official’ release of one of the band’s ‘pussy sets’ - preferably CBGB’s 9 December 1984. How about it Rhino? You up for the challenge? (04.06.18)

ROUND EYE - Monster Vision {Sudden Death} Truly eccentric, wigged out slice of Garage Freak Punk from this band outta Shanghai. Think something akin to F.Y.P. fused with JAY REATARD played via some destructo Sax and a hint of COWS doing Jazz freakouts with the help of ARTHUR BROWN and you might be in a similar cosmos as that inhabited by ROUND EYE. Yep, eclectic stuff which didn’t immediately work for me. Sure, there were highlights, like the propulsive ‘Billy’, the wig-out of ‘Tailspin’ and the hypnotic ‘Nest’ but generally I found it a little too disjointed to really hit home. Between the songs there is a DJ-style comedic commentary from Daily Show comedian, John Bloom and, of most significance, this is the last recording made by Steve Mackay, sax player with THE STOOGES - and a keeper for that reason alone. Interesting graphics too, featuring a caricature of Trump complete with SS badge! (24.03.18)

Hit HERE for material reviewed prior to 2018 including:
RADIOACTIVITY, RADIO BIRDMAN, CJ RAMONE (3 reviews), REALLY RED, RED DONS, REGULATOR WATTS, REVENGE OF THE PSYCHOTRONIC MAN, RIKK AGNEW BAND, RIPCORD (2 reviews), ROUGH KIDS, ROUGHNECK RIOT, ROVSVETT, THE RUTS and RUTS DC (2 reviews)