SHEMPS, THE: Self-titled: CDR

Here’s seventeen raw tracks from those New York hooligans, The Shemps, who introduce rock’n’roll into their unabashed punk rock with glorious results. It’s catchy, toe-tapping fun that brings to mind the renaissance of the garage years, pre-mock blues and major label interest, when bands like The Devil Dogs, The Candy Snatchers (god bless the bleeders), etc. brought the clubhouse walls down, back when nobody really cared for this type of music. So, The Shemps went through a major lineup overhaul since we last heard from them several years ago when they invaded Japan two years ago. Dave the Spazz (of WFMU fame) left his post as lead singer under mysterious circumstances. Taking over the helm is Artie – the loveable, diminutive yet energy laden new vocalist that howls and hoots like Screamin’ Jay Hawkins in the punk rock era. Artie brings a fresh shot of urgency and Bill Florio, their long time be-boppin’ bassist and MRR contributor told me Artie crashed his car into the side of a club where The Shemps were playing one night – they’ve been inseperable since. Ah, I love a good love story. Rounding out the line up is Sue (who has left since this writing) on rhythm guitar, Jimmy The Love Machine on those solid drums and our good friend Squeaky (ex-Flipside, Fizz contributor/ Voluptous Horror of Karen Black go-go dancer/ Larry Clarke model/ ex-Stallions guitarist and all around good guy) who takes a violin bow to his guitar like a headhunter goin’ to work on the other tribe. Eat your heart out The Creation! The best thing about The Shemps is that their longest song clocks in at an epic 2:18. I love a band that doesn’t waste my time with Beatles chord progressions and all that unnecessary studio time wanking! The Shemps came down here back in December where they played a series of shows with The Stupor Stars, which brought us the long awaited reunion of old friends, Mr. Rick Hall and Squeaky (they were both in the Stallions.) The shows were fun filled with breakdancing, dildoing mics, Squeaky doin’ the splits, and a couple of unnamed girls doin’ their best “Don’t Talk to Me” GG Allin karaoke. Artie topped it off by telling me he once macked on a chick with one arm. Those zany Shemps!

 –nam (The Shemps)