The New York Loose exploded onto the scene in the early 90's delivering one of the best albums of that decade (1996's Year of the Rat) following the release of a number of independent singles and an EP. They unfortunately split a couple of years after the release and all went off to do various other projects and after Brijitte West recently saw the continued interest in the band from fans old and new she decided to restart the band and put out 'Born To Loose'. This album is a collection of those singles and the 'Loosen Up EP' along with a bunch of unreleased, live and hard to find tracks.
Their debut single 'Bitch' is the first track and is the perfect slice of dirty rock 'n' roll with guitars that reminds me very much of Faster Pussycat's 'Bathroom Wall'. It's a killer song that has you singing along before the end of its first play and is my favourite song on here. The version of 'Monolith Kids"' here is from the b-side of 'Bitch' rather than the version on the 'Loosen Up EP' and has a very different sound and feel to it than the later version. Even though I'm far more used to the EP version I much prefer it in this earlier incarnation, it has a more fired up energy. 'The Luckiest Girl' was co-written with Richard Bacchus of D-Generation, it shows a slower side to the early days of NYL and is a beautiful song with some great lyrics. The versions of 'Spit' and 'Pretty Suicide' are again from the 7" single rather than those that appeared on 'Year of the Rat' and have much more of a raw sound. Brijitte's vocals on 'Pretty Suicide' stand out in particular; dripping with emotion she draws you into the lyrical subject with ease. There are so many great tracks that I'd never heard before that I really feel spoilt by this album. 'Fade' could easily have sat on 'Year of the Rat' without feeling out of place. Of the tracks from the 'Loosen Up EP' (produced by Jonathon Daniel of Candy/Electric Angels/The Loveless) 'The Late 20th Century Blues' and 'The Desperate Hopeful' are two of the finest sneering punked up rock songs ever recorded with the vocals positively spat out. The last batch of tracks are all recorded live with varying sound quality across the tracks, amongst the rarities included is the surprising 'Lord Won't You Send Me a Devil', a very country flavoured rock song and quite unlike any NYL song I've heard before, fantastic track and I'd love to have heard a studio version. The live versions of 'Rip Me Up' and 'Pretty Suicide' sound great and make me wish even more that I'd been lucky enough to see the band live.
Everyone should buy this;
it's really that simple. Without it you're missing out on a collection of the
best songs recorded during the 90's. With Brijitte West currently writing a
new album and a new 7" scheduled for a summer release along with a comeback
gig at Brighton Engine Rooms with Goldblade on May 5th the New York Loose are
back and the music scene is a much better place.
by John Baxter
Visit the New York Loose Website