Music Reviews

Mad For the Racket

The Racketeers

Muscletone

The Police. The MC5. The Damned. Blondie. Guns ‘N Roses. The Stone Roses. What could these bands have in common? Quite simply, a member of each of these bands has joined together and formed Mad For the Racket. Although the central members remain Wayne Kramer (ex-MC5) and Brian James (ex-Damned and Lords of the New Church), the talents of Stewart Copeland (Police) and Duff McKagan (Guns ‘N Roses) are also utilized on this album.

While Kramer and James take turns singing and laying down the fretwork, there is no radical departure between either one of their respective styles. James and Kramer share a singular vision of meat and potatoes hard rock, a vision rooted that is rooted in the gritty reality of the urban experience and the hard won lessons from a career spent in the music business. Musically, the sound remains tethered to the Detroit sound that Kramer helped inaugurate in the late sixties and early seventies during his tenure in The MC5. Dual guitars intersect and collide over a firm and strong rhythm section. Lyrically, the songs explore the territory that Kramer and James have explored in their previous bands. Cynicism and a mistrust of authority are coupled with a world-weary resignation that, despite the sentiment of the lyrics, rarely interferes with the execution of their ideas.

Although this may be of little appeal to a younger audience, those who appreciate the history and legacy of bands that have led to the current crop of alt-rock performers would be well served to seek this disc out. These guys have the chops, skills, and power to pull off one of the better rock albums out now.

Muscletone Records, 8949 Sunset Blvd, Suite 203, West Hollywood, CA 90069; http://www.waynekramer.com


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