The quasi-sleaze punk of bands like Nashville Pussy or the Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs always seems to be precariously positioned between the best and the worst of their ‘70s rock god influences. Whether drawing on the bombast of Black Sabbath, the cock rock of AC/DC or the guitar wankery of Ted Nugent, these bands want to have their cake and eat it too… not an easy feat when you think that punk evolved as a reaction to the excesses of the rock aristocracy. Listening to Junkyard’s 2002 release Tried and True, a lot of questions immediately come to mind—like, why don’t these guys get a more punctual publicist? The band, including former members of Minor Threat and Texas punk legends the Big Boys, have trod a long and moderately successful road that included a 1991 record deal with Geffen. But Tried and True is, as the title unfortunately implies, the sound of a band with all eyes on the past, reluctant to try anything new. At the risk of sounding overly cruel, these guys sound a hell of a lot like Bon Jovi. Even the song titles, “Simple Man,” “Holdin’ On” and the title track are pedestrian. There’s a lot of talent in this band, so why they grind out fetid hair metal is a question they really should ask themselves.
–eric (Heat Slick/Smart)