Having witnessed a somewhat subdued "999" in the live setting last year, supporting "The Damned", I have to say I wasn't really expecting much from this release.
So to say "Death in Soho" is actually a welcome kick in my punk rock nadgers will give you an idea of how surprised I am with this, the bands first all new album in nine (nine, nine) years.
Recorded in July 2007 and featuring original members, Nick Cash (vocals/guitar), Guy Days (guitar), Pablo Labritain (drums) and Arturo Bassick (bass) this set of 15 tracks captures the classic "999" sound whilst giving a nod towards the more contemporary sounds of the genre.
Opener "Gimme the World" speeds along on a rent-a-yob chorus that will have punks' worldwide imitating monks (I kid you not) the next time the band hit their town. Whilst "Rock N Roll World" and "Stealing Beauty" take a social commentary and unwind the tales over a "Clash-like" sound that really does make me wonder if this is the same band I witnessed live last summer.
Nick Cash's vocals can tend to be a bit of an acquired taste in places, and on the track "Horror Story" I was sadly lost completely, this track being the only substandard one for me. However as a full album listening experience this set of songs is something the band should be very proud of. Especially given some of the substandard releases their contemporises (you know who you are guys) have released in the guise of new material.
If everything on this album was as good as "The Avenue" and "Last Breath" (the latter built on a vibe not unlike "Hanoi Rocks") I would be heralding this as the second coming. But, I was never expecting this album to change the face of Punk Rock in 2007, and I guess the band aren't either, and that is what makes it still so appealing to these ears after repeated spins. "Death In Soho" simply sounds like 4 guys (who incidentally look like extras from some "Danny Dyer" Hooligan documentary on the cover) playing some enthused Rock N Roll music and loving every fucking minute.
So, Johnny H gets to eat some humble pie with this review. This release is fully deserving of praise and when it gets released in late September I would suggest any Punk Rocker who likes their music to have a "Johnny Thunders/Mick Jones" fuck you type swagger to check this out.
3.5 out of 5
by Johnny H.
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