Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Chesterfield Kings - The Berlin Wall of Sound

This is the Kings in the NY Dolls phase, as is clearly articulated by the cover photo - a tribute to the Dolls first album. The sound could easily pass for the glam band, as well, though the production is actually better than the originals (they even do a take on the Dolls' version of "Pills")!

Singer Greg Prevost was always a great Jagger imitator and what was Johansen trying to do other than copy Mick, so Greg copping David is a no-brainer. Greg does go a little overboard on their "Coke Bottle Blues" - he works so hard to be an old black man (the record is dedicated to Muddy Waters) that is kinda becomes a parody. I love Provost and the band, but sometimes they slavishly imitate to the point where they lose themselves. They do it well and are superb musicians, and have gained a huge fan base by doing so, but a little more originality might have helped their careers in the long run. I guess they were a precursor to Turbonegro, where part of the fun is guessing where they stole this or that from.

But despite these complaints, I would recommend any of the CK's records - they are always a good, rockin' time! But, this is not one for the 60's purists! They pissed off some of their early fans (as did many of us who came for the 60's revival scene) with this homage to the fantastic r'n'r of the 70's.

PS - None other than Dee Dee Ramone contributes the excellent 70's boogie rocker, "Come Back Angeline". VERY un-Ramones like but terrific and very fitting for this album!