Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Hollywood Brats - "The Hollywood Brats" (Cherry Red, Re-issue 1994)

In Greece we have an expression for Jekyll & Hyde situations that says: "Every coin has two sides". Probably you guys and gals from anyplace you’re coming from got it too or something similar anyway, but that's not our subject. Ever heard about New York Dolls evil twin? No? Too bad cause their Brit boyfriends and half the pattern of my beloved Hanoi Rocks’ sound (and from there of about a million more androgynous punk rebels) was the ‘other side’ of the aforementioned coin, probably as cheap as a penny and for sure as valuable as the Dolls.
This goddamn masterpiece believe it or not, had to wait in the can for seven long years! Recorded back in 1973 but came out for the first time in 1980... Think now what happened during those seven long years and what may have happened if this fucker was out on time! The Hollywood Brats would have now sickle Dolls saga. Truly outrageous, full of feathered boas, mascaras and stuff but without the all too feminine Dolls stylebook, championed by loonies like the prime minister of them, Keith Moon (the president would have been no other than Screamin’ Lord Sutch) and set the first step of one of my very fave bands ever, the Boys!
Did I say “The Boys”? Oh well, the all time sleaze break-up tune of “Sick On You” and “Tumble With Me” can be found here in all its prime savagery like the Faces of “Ooh La La” in drag, with campy piano playing that owes more to Esquerita than to Little Richard (listen to those first notes of “Chez-Maximes”, seconds before the guitars fire burn entry!) and thee syllable to syllable snotty edge that if you’re 15, bored to death and fat full of exploding hormones naturally becomes your national anthem (I’m not talking of course ‘bout good boys)! And the similarity with New York Dolls doesn’t stop here… Thunders gang ADORED 60s girls groups with most notable example this of Shangri-Las. Hollywood Brats fixation with the Crystals transformed into the best rock & roll adoption (“Then He Kissed Me”) of the Phil Sector’s finest gals songs (I love the Ronettes but sorry not as the sometimes Darlene Love fronted wildcat crew) along with the Fallen Angels “He’s A Rebel” take! The production was more garage oriented without the big stomping sound of the other glam acts in the UK, but hey, we’re talking about a punk band here, right?! Ha, I forgot to tell you that these brats were at first call themselves Queen! An out of control Freddie Mercury (well...kind of) one night at the Marquee crashed and demanded to change their name. Of course our boys kicked the shit outta him but they forced (I guess…) to change it in the end when the moustache fronted combo had its first hit.  On the 1994 Cherry Red re-issue CD, the few words in the liners almost like a blog post of A. Matheson made me realize why the dude was such a clever punk and why he was able to write such amazing lyrics!
The Hollywood Brats was born of disgust. We simply couldn’t stomach anything that was happening in music at the time. It was all denim and drum solos. Where was the excitement, the danger, the outrageous clothes, the aggression, the glamour that made rock & roll the erotic narcotic we craved?” (…) “Next stop Olympic Studios where we continued to outrage all and sundry and trouble dogged our heels like a mutt with a fetish. We lorded over the Eagles, the Bee Gees, and Donovan because they were relegated in the mighty studio A while were relegated to the lowly B and C.Take up thy gongs and leave... The battle raged as producers and engineers kept trying to tone us down and smooth off our rough edges. Only we knew what the sound was supposed to be. We clawed like tigers in tantrum and soon the hired help wilted and slunk off down the corridors muttering death threats and left us to our devices” (…) “ We had made the music we wanted to make with no compromises or apologies but it was apparently too much, to soon. That’s life!
Punk rock pioneers or what? 


pic taken from http://www.hollywoodbrats.com/


8 comments:

  1. http://www.sendspace.com/file/svy604

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  2. Great Blog! I too love the Hollywood Brats, and this album is AWE-SUM! I was wondering if anyone has the Rough Mixes fanclub ep they can upload. I've been looking for that for YEARS! I hear that "Son of the Wizzard" is amazing! Thanks!

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    1. Thanks mate, I second that request! I never saw anything not even a pic of this to know how it looks like... I've got the songs in a VERY shitty bit rate that doesn't deserves any upload (96Kbps or something)... Anyone?

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  3. Hey, I discovered this blog via a fellow reader, and I love it. Any chance for me to get in your blogroll? www.rhinestonemusic.net

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  4. I have never heard the HB but thanx to you here with your cooler-than-cool blog I'm going to have a listen, and I hope it's trashy! Thanx so much. Keep on doing what you do.

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  5. Thanks, never heard of them before now.

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