Tuesday, December 31, 2013
JJ and the Real Jerks on Rank Outsider Records
I don't know what California as a place has to do with the pop rock punk sound of San Diego's Rocket From The Crypt. Was it a west coast punk surf interpretation of the Dolls or The Heartbreakers? Maybe not even a direct reference but that same set of circumstances in a different place? Whatever mysteries are at work out there JJ and The Real Jerks out of Redondo Beach are currently tapped into a lot of those same sounds. These guys are reaching the same conclusions between catching waves and rays.
These guys play with a chopped up matte black hot rod sort of feel sweating in denim jackets and rolled up jeans.
On "High Anxiety Society" a bass line drops in with structure over power chords with JJ sounding like blue collar rock country. Throw a little distortion on that vocal for a verse and a half. Frantic guitars with a real snarl, this solo has some bite as well. Loose with a great chorus takes me back to that Social Distortion's Somewhere between Heaven and Hell. Separated guitars from both sides of the channels open "Short Term Memory Lane" with harmonica wailing. It's a story track that has a lot of electric hard living rock blues to it. A rock cramps style if they played it straight. JJ gets on sax for the solo breakdown that goes everclear honkeytonk, blowing doors off bars. There's even some of that Replacements sound, their honest rock if you cranked up the tempo with a greaser feel to this being a little unkempt and not housebroken.
B-Side's "Punch Out At The Record Shop" had me being about a record store, as if those still exist. It's raunchy and rocking stuttery bursts of riffage. JJ doesn't sound like himself so much on this side with thicker doubled up vocals, losing the blues feel? More power pop. "I want what's in your hand!" I love that there could be a fight about records turned into a track with an almost 60's sound at it's heart. The sax especially, its not over, that bass is keeping this thing alive. Someone does get punched, believe me, I get it and this ends with that title of the track back and forth in a call and response vocal really hammering this home. I bet they would appreciate it if this actually happened with this single...or its based on a true story? Ride this last refrain faster and faster to the end. SHOOOOPPPP!!!!!! Physical violence at the record store? It happens every year. It's called record store day.
On clear vinyl from the bands blog or Rank Outsider.