CJ RAMONE: The Holy Spell…: CD

Aug 01, 2019

Raise your hand if you fell in love with a classic punk band through one of their not-so-classic albums! It happens. Because you were a kid, because you didn’t care, because it just didn’t matter. Mondo Bizarro was my first Ramones album and I played it over and over. When I got deeper into punk and people chastised me for liking this one, I stopped playing it, putting the earlier Ramones stuff into rotation instead. Now that I’m older and once again realize that it just doesn’t matter, I’ve been revisiting the record and it really is my favorite. One of the reasons I fell in love with it—and still love it—is CJ Ramone, specifically his vocals on “Strength to Endure.” That song is perfect as far as I’m concerned. Still, I’d never spent any time with CJ’s solo stuff until now. The Holy Spell… is exactly what I want it to be. It’s driving, heartfelt, simple punk rock’n’roll. It’s really comfortable. I sank into it quickly and left it playing over and over and it was nice. It’s got enough of that late period Ramones vibe to satisfy without being overly reliant on it, adding fresh flourishes to make it sound modern. It’s just a fun record. Listen to what you want, okay? Life’s too short to worry about what’s cool. –Emma Alice Johnson (Fat)