JOEY RAMONE: Don’t Worry About Me: CD

I bought this disc a few days after its initial release several weeks ago, but I unfortunately haven’t had time to listen to it until now due to a hectic, unrelenting schedule of academics, homework, exams, beer, and sleep. Today has been particularly grueling and stressful (whatever could possibly go wrong has done so tenfold!), so fuck it, I’ve nonchalantly resigned myself to an inebriating afternoon of cold, ice-chilled brew and the spirit-rousing sonic uniqueness of Joey Ramone. As soon as the powerfully upbeat strains of the opening number, Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World,” kicked into high gear, I suddenly felt alive and replenished with a youthful zeal for life, ready to conquer the world, baby! And it just gets more inspired and delightfully titillating from there: “Mr. Punchy” sounds incredibly like a long-lost out-take from The Who during their youthful speed-addled mod era; “Maria Bartiromo” could’ve very well been performed by Cheap Trick live at the Budokan in ’79; “Spirit in My House” is the closest semblance to a Kinks classic since their very own “You Really Got Me”; “Venting (It’s a Different World Today)” and “Like a Drug I Never Did Before” (with its fiercely smokin’ Steve Jones-style guitar swagger) sound similar to updated, more polished versions of the Ramones’ “I Wanna Live” and “Strength to Endure”; “Searching for Something” is acoustically along the lines of “Lonely Planet Boy” by the New York Dolls; the brutally honest lyrical content of “I Got Knocked Down (But I’ll Get Up)” is a heart-wrenching account of a bedridden Joey’s miserable suffering during his routine hospital stays; and then there’s a spectacular sizzlin’ rendition of The Stooges’ “1969” (a select treat hold-over from the Iggy tribute disc “We Will Fall”). With special musical guests Daniel Rey, Andy Shernoff, Marky Ramone, Captain Sensible, Dr. Chud, Jerry Only, Joey’s real-life brother Mickey Leigh, and other such multi-talented notables, this is one helluva aurally stellar release enthusiastically packed with some of the most well-scrubbed and crunchy rock’n’roll originality ever put to platter. Wherever Joey may be, he should be damn proud of himself for leaving such an indelibly unique imprint upon us all. –Roger Moser, Jr.

 –guest (Sanctuary)