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DEAD END TRICKS
Sometimes you hear something as gloriously unadorned as ‘Dead End Tricks’ that sounds like it was found in the gutter somewhere in 1974 and then found again, a little worse for wear, in 1984. There’s the spirit within these grooves of some of the best punk-glam from New York Dolls to The Dead Boys to Hanoi and the Ramones and that to be honest excites me for one…
Hey before we start is that a cigarette, lighter, ashtray, switchblade and rosary on the cover along with a glass of whiskey? You bet it is - and that is what you get aurally when you give this a spin – a bit of what’s bad for you (but that you know you’ll love) with a helluva kick on the side. So pucker up and see if you can hold on for the full 13 tracks.
‘Dope City’ that opens this one is not the best song sonically you will hear all year, I mean it’s gloriously sloppy, and sounds like it was scooped together in the way the New York Dolls used to sound (and that takes some doing). It's got that indefinable feel that makes it such a treat to stumble over – I love it. And if that’s the opening shot this is worth your attention…
To cut to the chase I love this one, and with each play I get more from it. Songs like ‘Teenage Tragedy’; GirlGang’; which is wonderfully funny deliver in spades and the closing three ‘Better off Blonde’; ‘Boulevard Red’ and ‘Porn Star’ are all a cut above the competition. The rest are not far behind. Demon’s Alley seems to have that crazy knack of writing a hook that’s a little different and shouldn’t really work, but does. And they certainly know how to write a good song channelinga little of the vibe of early Gunners along the way.
There are even a few surprises that stray away from the New York cool sleaze: ‘Loaded Gun’ sticks out like a sire thumb and is almost pure metal, it’s almost like the guys are saying ‘sure we can do that too’. And to be honest even though it sounds so different from most of the rest of the songs here it’s up there with my favourites.
On the basis of what I hear on ‘Dead End Tricks’ I expect to hear a lot more from these guys in the future.
So if your love your music to sound like it should – raw and rocking with a focus on today and not a care for the future or the past Demon’s Alley could well be a band to put on your must see list – and in truth I can only imagine what this must sound like live.
By Mark Diggins