Tag Archives: Chicago

LAUREN NAPIER & VIC RUGGIERO: ‘Duets Vol. 1’

The sign of a good cover is when you’re able to sing along, confident in the lyrics …. but just not quite able to place the song title or original artist.

That’s exactly the case with this new release from Lauren Napier (multi talented vocalist / writer / model – aka Punk Rock Doll) and Slackers front man, Vic Ruggiero.

This five-track EP features covers of two established and popular songs – one a country classic, the other a Rolling Stones favourite. An added bonus are King Tony’s two fantastic dub interpretations of Lauren and Vic’s interpretations, if you see what I mean!

The Patsy Cline song, ‘Walkin’ After Midnight‘ is the one that threw me. The words were familiar, but the presentation was completely alien to me. Country done Reggae works marvelously well here. Lauren’s vocals are given a bit delay / echo and her haunting, dulcet pitch perfectly blends with Vic’s warm tones.

‘Dead Flowers,’ is one of those Stones‘ songs that every fan knows, but maybe is lesser known to the casual listener. I guess the original also has a bit of a Country feel to it, and again, it’s given a real infectuous and jaunty reggae backbeat.

Lauren and Vic work so well together. They play off each other so well on this and the videos I’ve seen. And as with everything I’ve heard Vic do, he sounds so relaxed in his delivery, almost casual-like, and yet there is a playfulness, a smile, behind the vocals that draws the listener in.

Yeah – another excellent one to go check out / buy!

A ‘straight’ version of ‘Walkin’ After Midnight.’ (Not the one on the EP)

POISON BOYS: ‘Out Of My Head.’

This is so very liberating, running LOUD HORIZON on a purely selfish basis.

I said I’d keep the blog open and write what I fancied, when I could be arsed to do so.

And so here I am, day #3 of the re-resurrected blog …. and writing the third post. And buying my second album via Bandcamp.

Poison Boys are another band I’ve just discovered, and know very little about. They are a punk / sleaze rock band from Chicago and look to have been making and releasing music these past five years. Sadly have been touched by tragedy, with the death of founding member Mike Lippman and friend Jenna Carlisle who both passed away following an accidental drugs overdose. This album, ‘Out Of My Head‘ is dedicated to them.

If you like your music, loud, scuzzy and in your face, then these lads are for you. Mixing garage with punk, pub and sleaze rock, they come across as a mix of The Pretty Things, New York Dolls and of course, a little bit of The Ramones – because, well, it’s the law, isn’t it?

There are twelve tracks on this album, covering roughly forty minutes, I’d say. So, great value, for sure. Being a bit of a boring old punk traditionalist, my first reaction was that a few of these tracks could perhaps outstay their welcome, so to speak. Both ‘Empty Heart,’ and ‘Up to the Sky’ run to over five minutes. But as I listened through on subsequent plays, and got over myself and my preconceptions, I realised my feet were still tapping away at the end of the tracks – the riffs are so strong and interspersed with rocking guitar solos. Five minutes flash by!

Track #7 on the new ‘Out Of My Head’ album.

Desperado,’ features a beefy saxophone backing which adds further depth to the sound – I’d like to see / hear more of this actually. Closing track ‘Been Here All Night,’ dare I say, sounds like Oasis backing The Dead Boys. And at various points throughout the album, vocalist Matt Dudzik reminds me a little of Mick Jagger … just the way he hold on to that final nasal note in a stanza. Probably Johnny Thunders is more accurate though. (I could argue with you about the Thunders / Jagger comparisons as well, if you like?)

This one one really strong album – not a ‘filler’ in sight, with powerful, uplifting riffs to get your fist punching the air and your feet stomping the floor.

Thoroughly recommended, this one!

Taken from the ‘Poppin’ Eyes and Flashing Feet’ EP