Share BATUSIS – Batusis (Smog Veil)
On paper, this is bulletproof. Syl Sylvain, the corkscrew-haired lovable wiseguy from the New York Dolls, actually produced (to these feedback-scorched ears) the best foray into rekkid-makin’ of any ex-Doll, 1978’s “14th Street Beat” (“Hey, kid, where’d you get that walk? / I got that walk where I got this talk…Hey, kid, where’d you get that car? / I got that car with this guitar”), which had the misfortune to be on RCA, a label that couldn’t promote a rock record if their very lives depended on it, and so sank like a stone. Cheetah Chrome was the angry young ginger in Rocket from the Tombs and the Dead Boys and the avuncular, shaven-headed rock ‘n’ roll survivor in an unlikely, Nashville-based solo resurgence. Add Joan Jett’s hot rhythm section, sign ‘em to Frank Mauceri’s Cleveland-centric little-label-that-could, and you’ve got something going on.
Be forewarned: This is an EP. And of the four songs, two are instrumentals. One of those is a cover (Davie Allen’s “Blues’ Theme,” from the archetypal ‘60s B-movie The Wild Angels), while the other (“Big Cat Stomp”) has the same careening biker-rock vibe. The two remaining tracks give you a tantalizing taste of each man’s distinctive thang: Syl’s “What You Lack In Brains” (“…you’ve got in looks”) struts jes’ lahk the ‘70s Stones, replete with “Woo-hoo” backing voxxx, while Cheetah’s “Bury You Alive” rips like an outtake from Young, Loud and Snotty, with a serviceable guitar player’s vocal that sounds for all the world like Deniz Tek.
This’d probably be great as a souvenir of a live show that’s filled out with some Dolls, RFTT, and Dead Boys classics. As a stand-alone artifact, though, it comes up a little short - Ken Shimamoto
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