Album review: Dead City, “The Dead Sessions”featuring Cheetah Chrome.

I’m a punk girl at heart. And although my music tastes are quite diversified at this point in my life (My playlists might suggest a multiple personality disorder to any casual observer!). I love nothing more than to getting back to the music that started it all for me. Some of The bands that really woke me up and began my life long love affair with music were The NY Dolls, The Damned, The Dead Boys and Iggy and The Stooges. I am a fan of hardcore, but there is something that is perfect to me when it comes to the loud guitar, heavy rhythm section and bluesy and soulful vocals of these bands.

Connecticut Hardcore band, Lost Generation is a band I’ve always greatly appreciated and I got to see them many times in my youth. As I dove head first back into music, I began to research some of my old local favorites. Somehow, until very recently, I missed out on  Dead City. This band  came into fruition after Cheetah Chrome (Dead Boys) played a few ten-year anniversary gigs with Lost Generation in 1991 and the next logical step was to go into the studio and record together. Lost Generation singer, Joe Dias, joined up with Chrome, and guitarist Pugs (, Iron Cross) to go back to the beginning and record an album with a sound that brings punk right back to its earliest roots. Members of Lost Generation, as well as Todd Knapp (76% Uncertain) and John Munera (Seizure) round out the Dead City line-up this album. It was mastered by current Dead City bassist, Sean Sheridan.

At fist listen  I was immediately transported back to being a 13-year-old girl in Fairfield County, Connecticut and hearing the Dead Boys for the first time. I was babysitting and brought the kids over to the local pet store to see the exotic animals. Little did I know that visit would change my entire life.A guy that worked at the shop was playing this music. I had never had music grab me like that before.( But being that I grew up in a family where Kenny Rogers was about as deep as you got, there was never anything to grab before!!) I began going to the shop every day after school just to hear more. Soon I was completely immersed in the punk scene. Stiv Bators and The Dead Boys were at the top of my daily  playlist. There was something raw and real about this music.I could listen to it daily for the rest of my life and it would never sound dated or out of touch. Even upon first listen, Dead City sounded that good to me. It’s classic punk rock in its most basic and beautiful form. There is nothing fancy or over-polished here, and that’s what makes it so good. These guys understand what classic punk is and what its supposed to sound like, and that unlike the really good hardcore out there at the time, they weren’t ashamed to play songs that allowed you to sing and (GASP!!!) maybe even dance around the bedroom a little .

While I am a huge fan of some of the earliest and fastest hardcore, nothing before or since has ever had the effect on me that 70’s punk did. It defied tradition, but burst forth with passion, energy and a guttural sexuality that had never really been heard before.It was tough while still having a groove. It was raw, but not to the point that you could not sing along.

The Dead Sessions album brings punk back. It’s infectious rhythm and loud guitar riffs, coupled with the soulful singing of Dias, is an album I’d been waiting to hear  for a very long time. It’s not aiming to sound LIKE anything in the past, but to take the influences from a time gone by and incorporate them into something that might sound even better. This album is not to be missed by anyone who loves this genre.

Stand-out tracks for me are “Nothing”, which ranks right up there with the best The Dead Boys had to offer, “Memories”, which is reminiscent of the Stooges, and the hilarious “I Walked With A Zombie.” Do yourselves a favor, and listen. Better yet, come see them live.

Dead City will be playing at Cafe Nine in New Haven, CT on 10/26/16 with The Dickies.. Tickets are on sale now.

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