The Upper Crust
Delusions of Grandeur
Red Eye Records
We always imagine rock and rollers as coming in two flavors: broke and hocking their car to buy strings, and fabulously wealthy drug-hoovering pop stars. There might be some middle class musicians somewhere, but they are rare birds. Then there’s oddities like this group: Notionally rich on ancestral money yet still rocking out in dive clubs while their chauffeur watches the Rolls. The Upper Crust comes from the moneyed streets of Boston, although I don’t really hear the old money, never move you lips accent I’d expect.
Their band names are wonderfully tasteless: Lord Bendover and the Duc d’Istortion play guitar, Count Bassie naturally drives bass and Jackie Kickassis whacks hard on the drums. On stage they wear wigs and frock coats straight out of Adam Ant, but their rock and roll is straight ahead 1980s big hair sound. These boys can fist pump and their anthem “Heads Will Roll” sings about “I lose control” and “It might be wrong but that’s alright.” They may be rich, but they are clever enough to be poor.
“Only a Lowly Lackey” sounds like Bon Scott is back from the dead, and “Flagrant Delicto” might be an Alice Cooper cover. It’s true these guys are a sort of parody band, but like Spinal Tap they never lose sight of quality head banging when it comes to tunage. These alt-fashionistas have a few albums about, but they don’t seem to travel too far from their home base. I suspect there’s some day jobs lurking but that doesn’t diminish the fun these guys put back in rock and roll.