One of my more noteworthy Crimes Against Rock™ – which have been astonishingly plentiful – was, at age 14/15, finding myself so un-throttled by my copy of the Dictators Go Girl Crazy LP that i actually unloaded it back down at the record store within a few weeks of initial purchase. Needless to say, the situation has been long since rectified, but an error of that magnitude does not go uncontemplated by one such as myself, and, after a number of attempts to understand just what the hell i was thinking when i flipped that burly gem back to the used bin for pennies on the dollar, i came to the conclusion than i tragically abandoned Go Girl Crazy simply because, at the time, it seemed old and square. Like, i know the ‘Tators covered “California Sun” two years before the Ramones did, but so what? Having the Ramones version in hand, i really didn’t think i needed to keep the Dictators’ version – inarguably, a comparative plod (pooper-shaking be damned!) – around the house. Loveable and irreverent as they were, they still seemed like they were part of the old Orthodoxy of Rock that, at least to me, punk was – THANKFULLY – rendering inert (if not inert, then certainly unnecessary). And, while i am no longer in agreement with my younger self on the Dictators’, uh, inert-ancy, i can see where i was coming from: Almost anything the Dictators or relevant related post-Dictators projects (the Del-Lords, Manitoba’s Wild Kingdom... i did say “relevant,” which should eliminate the need to bring up Manowar) have done always sounds not too far off from something one could imagine one’s uncle kinda digging, given a few beers and the house to himself. With The Master Plan – Andy/Adny Shernoff, two dudes from the Fleshtones, and some Paul “Peppermint” Johnson guy i never heard of (but am willing to give the benefit of the doubt simply because he must be cooler than, say, Paul “Spearmint” Johnson) – that condition still kinda holds true, but is itselfrendered inert because GODDAMMIT, IT’S A PARTY, and if the relatives wanna slum it with us, there’s enough beer in the fridge for everyone! I mean, songs like “What’s Up With That?” (recorded by the Dictators a few years back), “Better Get Better,” and “I Got Loaded” (to say nothing of “Kickin’ It Old School,” one of the record’s few comparative flops) are just so... so... so basic and so guileless that they are instantly likeable, and therefore sort of incapable of provoking any stronger reaction than Instant Like, which in turn almost implies a certain inherent fuddy-duddiness or something, but, that said, let there be no question: THE MASTER PLAN WRESTLE WITH THE UNIVERSAL VANILLA AND KICK ITS ASS IN TWO STRAIGHT FALLS!!! This record pushes no envelopes, but serves a great and wondrous purpose as a semi-fabulous party album; and, while Razorcake has supplied me with a goodly bit of used record store bait this month, Colossus of Destinyain’t goin’ anywhere but into my CD player. BEST SONG: “You’re Mine” BEST SONG TITLE: “Find Something Beautiful (And Set It On Fire)” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Band is self-described as “Classic NY Garage Rock” and, as if to hammer this point home, is depicted rocking out in a automotive garage,underneath an automobile up on hoists. I’m guessing that two seconds after this photo was snapped, the guy from the Fleshtones (who are an excellent live band, by the way), who is standing on his tiny combo amp, did one of his little high kicks, which dislodged one of the car’s mufflers, which then swung down and clobbered Paul “Peppermint” Johnson in the face, who, reacting negatively, tried to lift his bass over his head to El Kabong the Fleshtones guy in retaliation, but, in the process, knocked the car off the hoists, immediately fatally flattening himself, Andy Shernoff, and the drummer, after which the Fleshtones guy quickly brushed the dust off himself, adjusted his little beret, and quickly left the scene, whistling suspiciously. Am i close?
–norb (Total Energy)