Monday, May 14, 2007

CD Reviews

More reviews:

Francos_DaveRave_LivingRoom_050306_04DAVE RAVE Anthology Vol. 1 (
DAVE RAVE Anthology Vol. 2 ( While many people in the US don’t know Dave Rave DesRoches, up in his native Hamilton, Ontario (aka “The Hammer”), he is one of the larger hometown rock’n’roll heroes, with a wide history that goes back to the ‘70s. I’ve known him a number of years, though we’ve probably met three or four times. Nice guy, and his music is certainly well represented on these two CDs, covering his entire history in over 2 hours. His earliest periods were spent in bands like the Shakers and the Trouble Boys, where he was a pop maven who could have been the bastard child of Dave Edmunds and Nick Lowe, possibly brother of the Plimsouls, if such a thing were possible. This is especially true in songs like “Out the Door”. And his cover of the Flamin’ Groovies’ “Shake Some Action” shows you his interests and influences. Then he officially joined Hamilton’s top cult band, Teenage Head as vocalist (he played with them on and off over their long history). There his material became more rock focused, but never lost the beat. After leaving the Head, he joined with A+ rock writer/historian/musician Gary Pig Gold and Coyote Shivers to form the Dave Rave Group. At this point he started to expand his musical repertoire into more melodic pop rock with deeper lyrics and less formulaic song structures. For me, one of his high points was when he joined up with ex-Nervus Rex/Washington Squares’ Lauren Agnelli to form Rave & Agnelli. Their voices work so well together, and their songwriting is sharp. In his latest incarnation, Dave Rave & Mark McCarron, Dave delves into some rock jazz, ever expanding his style. The first CD covers the more pop and rock side, and the second is focused on his more esoteric stylings. This is an excellent overview, with too many great songs to pick out a few (37 songs in total). Worth checking out. – RBF
Here's some of my pictures of his record release party in New York at The Living Room:

FIRE BUG – “End of the World” (Buddha Belt, c/o There’s four songs, and the last is just a shorter version of the first (“End of the World”). I enjoyed this, and wanted more, damn it. Vocalist Juliette Tworsey has a solid rock voice, reminiscent of Marge Reynolds of the ‘80s Brooklyn band Flame, but definitely has a uniqueness to help it stand out. Not only are the songs well sung, but they’re written with a strong catch (I can see hands waving as the chorus of “Hey, my, my/No need to worry”) comes out the amp at a concert. The musicianship is matched by the superb production values that highlight without burying. I want more. And yes, this made it to my iPod. Check out their superb video on YouTube. – RBF

Kung Fu GripKUNG FU GRIP “S/T” ( The core of KFG is vox/rhythm guitarist/drummer Anthony Kapfer and lead guitarist (and Anthony’s cousin) Ricky, who used to be in a duo, Good Grief (with Ricky as main voice). They became instant south Brooklyn icons after filling in at a gig when a band was a no-show (yes, I was there). Since then, they’ve played numerous times, and Anthony has been with many other bands (usually as drummer), such as The Nerve! KFG is essentially Anthony’s group, with Ricky’s massive support, and an additional bassist and drummer (for live gig purposes). KFG wave their influences on banners, including Foo Fighters, local legends Monty Love, the Nerve!, and even some of the more pop edges of the Beatles. Anthony shows on this CD that he can definitely lead, with catchy songwriting. Whether it’s the buzzsaw screamo of “W.I.P”, the catchy, hard yet melodic opening “Taking the Fall”, or the schmaltzy love poem to Anthony’s girlfriend Desiree, the songs stay with the listener. For a new outfit (even though Anthony and Ricky have been playing together since childhood), this is a dead-on first effort. Both guys are worth keeping a watch. – RBF
Kung Fu Grip and Randy Nerve playing the Southpaw, in Brooklyn:

VARIOUS ARTISTS – Fuzztones: Illegitimate Spawn – The Fuzztones Tribute Album (Sin, Postfach 21035, 10121 Berlin, Germany). I had to ask myself, really, is the Fuzztones important enough to have not only a tribute CD, but also a two-disk one? Well, hell yeah. The Fuzztones are to the garage revival sound what the Cramps are to rockabilly: a raucous, psychotronic vision of the genre, thereby creating a sub-genre all their own. With Rudi Prodrudi’s vocals (hero = Jerry Lee Lewis) and Deb O’Nair’s (hero = Nancy Sinatra) signature farfisa, they swamped up the garage sound in the ‘80s retro psychedelic sound that idolized bands like the Music Machine and the Standells). And here is an international collection of bands that recognize the ‘Tones importance. There are so many good cuts, I’ll just pick a few here and there from the 42 selections at well over 2 hours. The collection starts off strong with The Sparkling Bombs (France) doing “This Sinister Urge”. There’s a beautiful and powerful rendition of “Charlotte’s Remains” by “Gondolieri (Argentina). My favorite growlsters and old pals the She Wolves (v.1, USA) do a rough and ready “Heathen Set”. Plasticland (USA) do one of the Fuzztones’ early classics, “Ward 81”. Jayne County (USA) beautifully does “You Tarzan, Me Jane” (with the lyrics ”Women are women and men are men”). Nikki Sudden (Germany), while being a coup for the collection, contributes one of the weaker performances with “Just Once”. The Deltones (Finland) go a fab “Third Time’s the Charm”, and Hank Ray (Germany) handles a very flat, nearly scary “Ghost Clinic.” This CD ends with a complete tribute rave-up by Manganzoides (Peru) with “Fuzztomano Piedricolas”. There’s at least two original songs here named for keyboardist Deb O’Nair. And rightfully so. Pre-Fuzzones' Tina Peel is represented with "Fabian Lips" by Aliens & Strangers, from Rudi and Deb's home turf of Harrisburg, PA. I’m just sorry no one covered more of their bizarre middle-period tunes, like “Bent Nail Syndrome” (though Sons of the Moon (US) do a gr-8 and humorous “Johnson in a Headlock”). As a scene that’s dedicated to the obscure, this would have been a coup. This compilation is a must-have for the garage revivalist. – RBF
Two photos I took of the Fuzztones from the early '80s at Irving Plaza:

As always, comments are welcome.


  1. I'm meeting the fuzztones tomorow as they play in Paris, it's going to be huge I think, there's a big fuzz in Paris right now about this gig. Anyway your blog is really good, cheers, elektra

  2. I'm a bit jealous coz it's been 20 years since the last time I saw them play! And if I may, the Fuzztones have a new CD out called "Horney as Hell" (Unique Records, from Germany). I'll be reviewing it soon in Jersey Beat (, and eventually it will show up here on my own blog. Feel free to drop by again and let us all know how the concert was!