Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

MUSIC | LOCAL ANGLE

Making Music

Rockabilly, slide guitar and vocals are among new recordings.

July 23, 1998|BILL LOCEY | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Here are some capsule reviews of the latest CD releases of local bands and groups that play the area with some frequency.

Danny Blitz and the Jet Age Hoods, "Hopeless" (Punks on Nitro Records)

This is psycho rockabilly with some clever insights by a gear-head whose motto is "No Neurotic Chicks." From the title tune, a sample line: "It's cold and she's gone and she stole my sweater. This used to be my time to cry but she still keeps me warm as I burn her letters. Since I gave up hope I feel much better." In addition to the snappy dialogue, Blitz more than lives up to his name and shreds on guitar. The two covers, "Folsom Prison Blues" and "Roll Over Beethoven," are show stoppers. Blitz is the real roots-rock deal.

GRADE: A

Next gig: July 31 at Callahan's in Van Nuys.

*

Cadillac Angels, "Rest Stop Beach Party" (Envicta)

Formerly the Roadhouse Rockers, this Santa Barbara trio has been around so long that a ducktail used to be a haircut instead of the back of a duck. The band, which tours relentlessly, has never sounded better, or been more prolific. Frontman Tony Balbinot has been studying his hero Link Wray, and his guitar incorporates that ominous rumble throughout these 19 rockabilly-flavored rockers. Stand-up bass player Mickey Rae has never been better, either, and she makes the guys sweat when she purrs "Say You Care."

GRADE: A

Next gig: Saturday at Bowl-a-Rama in Eagle Rock.

*

Little Jonny & the Giants, "Windin"' (Cornbread Records)

Little Jonny Lawton, a former Venturan, lives in the Bay Area. Lawton's picture is on the wall at Smokin' Johnnie's twice, so he does do the Valley from time to time. And he's worth checking out, because Lawton is a slide guitar master with 30 years' experience. A couple of Lawton originals, "Barstool Boogie" and "Tough Luck," are blazing foot-stompers, plus it never hurts to cover a Muddy Waters tune, "Trouble No More."

GRADE: A-

*

Dave Robyn, "Learn How to Fall"

South Bay Dave is getting some airplay with his single "This Ain't Good" off this five-song EP. It's got sort of a late '70s arena rock feel to it, not unlike Rod Stewart, Eddie Money or Bruce Springsteen. Robyn has that gritty rock 'n' roll voice as well, but the songs are generic.

GRADE: C

Next gig: Aug. 21-22 at the Sagebrush Cantina in Calabasas.

*

Zoe Garden, "Planting the Seed" (Liquid Nickel)

Out of Thousand Oaks, this is a young band that plays older than its years. It's melodic hard rock and arena rock with all the licks in the right places. Powerful vocals by Mitch Linville are ably assisted by the other three guys who harmonize well. Too bad there's nowhere to play in the Conejo Valley except Borders, so sometimes these guys do the Country Club in Reseda.

GRADE: B-

*

Nicole Falzone, (Matters of the Heart)

Falzone is a singing drummer who can belt out a tune with Aretha Franklin speaker-threatening intensity. The songs are mostly slow and bluesy, with "I Don't Want to Love You" being the most memorable as Falzone accepts the inevitable--another round going nowhere with Mr. Wrong.

GRADE: B+

*

Deepdown, "Drift"

This is a four-song tape of aggressive testosterone-laden angst rock by four guys. The music is that ever-popular wedding of metal and a little rap, making for a slow and deliberate mosh pit. These are made to be played loud, which should please that little skate-head slacking on the couch.

GRADE: B-

*

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|