RICHIE RAMONE: “Not Afraid” b/w “Cry Little Sister”: 7”

May 24, 2022

It’s not lost on me that we’re in 2022 and I get to review a new record from a Ramone. That’s pretty rad. The A side is catchy, high intensity rock’n’roll I’d expect from one with that chosen surname. Bear with me here; the chorus reminds me of Murder City Devils’ “I Drink the Wine.” There’s a cadence and melody I can hear in both choruses, but tonally they are not analogous. I also really like the backing vocals from bassist Clare Misstake. Now please prepare yourself for the B side. Flip this record over and you enter a world of clove cigarettes, big hair, and heavy eyeliner. “Cry Little Sister” is an epic ’80s ballad written for today. Richie belts out the titular lyrics with incredible gusto. It was written for a movie called Protege Moi in which Richie Ramone plays the Vampire King. I’m now canceling my Saturday night plans to watch this flick. –Kayla Greet (Outro, richieramone.com)

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NIGHT BIRDS: Roll Credits: LP/CD

November 26, 2018
If anyone is going to release an album—or mini-album as the band refer to this as, containing just eight tracks—then the pressure is on to ensure that there is an absence of filler. Fortunately this is Night Birds, a band renowned for eschewing padding and one which also leaves no stone unturned in its approach to writing a great tune. Roll Credits include instrumental bookends, a specialty of this former quartet now sporting a second guitarist, and they do a grand job of containing the mayhem in between. My favorite, of many highlights, is at the start of the second track, “Onward to Obscurity,” where, as the intro plays, Brian Gorsegner’s desire to get involved in proceedings is evident as he screams his way into commencing his vocals on one of the best songs I’ve heard from Night Birds. Mind you, competition for that title is hot here as “White Noise Machine” is another contender, going by in a blur of seventy-five seconds. Mention must also be made of “Radium Girls,” which sounds to me like a midway point between Night Birds and Gorsegner’s other band, Character Actor, highlighting that it’s not all about the speed and that there is room for a hint of pop too. Few bands can touch Night Birds. In my opinion, it never fails to deliver, and I consider this to be its finest release to date. I would always want more songs, but Roll Credits has the feel of being something extra special about it and I think it’s the brevity that results in this being a perfect release. –Rich Cocksedge (Fat Wreck)
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