Friday, May 19, 2017

The Checkers – Make a Move

LA pop fanatic Jim Freek ran Teenacide Records (“this ain’t rock’n’roll – this is Teenacide!”) for a while in the late 90’s/early 00’s and Julie Vox’s Checkers were one of his power-pop releases. Backed by ex-Tommyknockers/Fuzztones bassist Chris Barfield, guitarist GG King and drummer Mark Reback, the group put out a couple rockin’, danceable pop albums. Here they channel early melodic punk rock, garage, 70’s rock, girl-group sounds and whatever else comes to mind. Energetic’n’catchy, with clever vocal lines, really drivin’ bass runs and solid guitar’n’drum backing, the Checkers kinda remind me of Blondie crossed with the Vibrators and the Boys.

Pure pop originals mix with covers like “Observer” and “The Fanatic”, all given a reasonably simple rock’n’roll instrumentation (poppy one and two note guitar lines or Chuck Berry/Johnny Thunders riffs dominate), highlighting Julie’s strong voice.

Fun record – find it if you can!

(Funnily, friend of the Excessories (who were active at this same time), artist Tom Neely (who did caricatures of the Excessories for our web site) did the layout and design for this CD. The LA pop scene was fairly small!)