PURE ORGANIC JUNK – Peter Blast (Poptown)
Peter Blast is a name that hadn’t crossed my synapses before now, which shows that you never really know it all. This is an anthology of songs the Chicago rocker’s committed to tape in a career spanning three decades and countless road miles spent in bands like Degeneration, Blast Factory and Blastiosso. There are few unreleased things, along with a couple of new tunes.
With vocals that sound like a cross between Johnny Thunders (with whom he shares his dress sense) and Stiv Bators (whom he uncannily resembles) Blast plies a surly mix of hard-edged glam punk and edgy pop ballads. Some of it borders on metal, some of it is pop metal.
They don’t make it onto this comp but Degeneration (who are not to be confused with the New Yorkers with a similar name) were allegedly the first punks to play on The Strip in Vegas, and a later band, junebug, used to run with LA Guns. At a stab, you might place the bulk of the songs on this disc squarely between those two reference points. For the most part, Blast has a great ear for a hook (“As Sharp As a Knife”, the very cool “See No Evil”) and a knack of being in bands with sympathetic players.
There are plenty of variations on this ageing rock and roll theme and Peter Blast has a handle on a few of them. The gentle “And Just For You” leans on strings to mix the mood, while bluesy slide dominates “Little Sister of Mercy” before a big chorus kicks in. “You’re Dead Wrong” wears stadium rock clothing. “Cruel Cruel World” is authentic Chess Studio blues, replete with Hammond organ and 12-bar progression. “On An Angel’s Wing” is lilting country.
Of the ‘bonus tracks’ (dunno why they’re called that on a 15-track CD – maybe there was a vinyl edition that omitted them) “Good Girls Gone Bad” is a bit slick for these tastes but the live “Pills” goes down well, no spoonful of sugar needed.- The Barman
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