Every once in a while a band comes along that makes you feel like the first time you heard Rock N Fucking Roll. Remember the thrill of hearing people say "L.A.M.F", "Two Steps From the Move", "Total 13" or "Never Mind The Bollocks" for the first time?
Well, "The Chelsea Smiles" have managed to give me that buzz and some more, after only 24 hours of owning "Twenty Six Hours Later". This album is as immediate as the best £10 power ball buzz you ever had, only this one comes in a ball of flame wearing your dads old brothel creepers and kicking your brain from one side of your skull to the other.
"The Chelsea Smiles" hail from Hollywood, California and are the brainchild of ex "D Generation", "Murphy's Law" and "Danzig" guitarist/vocalist "Todd Youth" and ex Bullets and Octane guitarist/vocalist "Skye Vaughan Jayne", and the pedigree of these dudes band history will give you an idea of what is on offer. Add into the mix the rhythm section of drummer "Karl Rosqvis" and bassist "Johnny Martin" and you have "The Heartbreakers" for the new millennium.
1.2.3. BANG!!!!! That is how quickly you are into this incendiary full album debut, via the bands mission statement "Nothing Wrong". This track sets the pulse a racing and your body a shaking, and before you know it, it's 1.2.3 BANG!!!!! and you're into "I Want More". The whole album is like this, just like a musical smash and grab raid, with the perpetrators wearing low slung guitars, leather jackets, tight black canvases with fags perched hanging from their collective mouths.
Of the 12 songs on offer, 10 are originals and 2 covers via an uber sleazy re-working of "New York Dolls - Chatterbox" and a more straightforward blast through "The Joneses - Pillbox". And of the 10 originals, every one has a pop sensibility not heard since the classic 70's New York scene that has been the mainstay of many of our own music collections for so many years.
"Heart Attack" is equal parts "Dead Boys" and "Kiss" whilst "Built To Last" is firmly in the "Dictators" and "Thunders" camp. If these terms of reference mean fuck all to you then "brother/sister you ain't heard shit in your life, go burn your music collection now".
The Gibson's are loaded equal measures to "Frehley" and "Thunders" on "News For You", and only on "Something's Gotta Give" does the sound move more toward "Backyard Babies", with a near damn total lift of "Bombed" during the mid section of the song.
The fact that this CD comes with a sticker on the front saying "for fans of The Hellacopters and Turbonegro", for once, it actually does the contents a certain disservice. As hard as it may be to believe "The Chelsea Smiles" are actually already better than both of those legendary bands. You know that sticker should read, "Like Rock N Roll? Buy this fucking CD!!!!!"
One thing for sure, now I truly have found my album of the year.
5 out of 5
by Johnny H.
Visit the Chelsea Smiles Website