Share TROUBLEMAKERS NUMBER 1 - Thee STP (Ammonia Records)
Let's make this review relatively simple. We'll do it like one of those pathetic Sydney Morning Herald reviews. "If you like Simon Chainsaw or the Hitmen, why not try Thee STP? If you like Radio Birdman, you might like this." It's not a perfect record but it rocks mightily. Four on the floor power rock and roll with pop hooks and scorching guitars. What's not to love? This is pretty much the kind of record that I-94 Bar trawls the gutters of the world for. Breastfed on the Ramones, STP churn them out with the best of them.

If you come on to this site hunting down more of that sound you love, Thee STP are an obvious choice. Hand over your twenty bucks you cheap bastards and give them their day in court. This record will never replace "Radios Appear" in your heart or tear your affection away from the first four Ramones LPs. But you've bought them already, haven't you? You're looking for some new rock and roll kicks. Shove this disc into your car's CD player and crank the volume to the heart of the sun. You won't be looking in the mirror for the highway patrol because, with your pedal to the metal, they'll be eating your dust.

Okay, the lyrics are a bit "English as a second language". (The band seems to originate from Italy). The lead vocals are limited but effective. That said, the backing vocals are spot on. The drumming, whilst competent and powerful, is a little overly obvious at times. Sometimes the riffs slip a little too far towards Heavy Metal for my liking. The band is so intent on power that they never actually let go enough to tip over into utter rock and roll mania. That's the reason why I haven't given them the full five bottles. Don't get me wrong. Despite these criticisms, the band still delivers big time. Consider my gripes as minor details in a world determined to fade into banality. I'm sure that, given a few more listens, I'll enjoy these songs even more. I can only recommend you hunt this disc down. Here. I'll make it easy... go on, click...

If you do it quickly, you might find a copy with the bonus 23 song disc. It contains old singles, B-sides and assorted odds and ends. It provides enough of a back history of the band to make you an instant expert. There's a pretty good cover of Birdman's "New Race" though, as I said earlier, the ending is a little more sedate than the original. The centre holds and the wheels steadfastly refuse to come off of the cart. They do a version of the Stones' "Ruby Tuesday" that has all the subtlety of smack in the face with a shovel and is only recommended as a one off joke. Their version of AC/DC's "Back in Black" (they add a touch of motherfucker to the brew) is mercifully unrecognisable. Everything on the bonus disc is much better than I have just made it sound. Their Ramones clone original "Troublemaker" is worth the price of admission all on its own.- Bob Short




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