The Joneses - Keeping Up With The Joneses

Oh my. Looking like they've come straight out of an 80's hair metal band and sounding like an unholy mix of the New York Dolls, Soho Roses and the Babysitters this is one tasty proposition. Of course a closer look at the sleeve notes reveals that this was originally recorded back in 1986 so perhaps we shouldn't be too surprised!

How to describe this? Hmmm, take your favourite New York Dolls songs, scruff them up a little and then turn all the needles on the mixing desk so that they're edging the "red". It's full marks to the producer/remastering genius who has managed to give this CD a full in your face sound. There's a slight fuzziness at the edges that gives it a live in the studio feel, making this an adrenaline rush from beginning to end.

There's no shiny glitter pop here, what you've got is gritty, sleazy rock n' roll played with a cocky swagger that you just don't hear these days. Opener "Ms. 714" comes blasting out at full speed, harmonica liberally splattered all over it and from there on in it's one long party. The choruses are good enough to have you singing along and the guitars loud enough for you to play air guitar to. Vocalist Jeff Drake has a classic sleaze rock voice, slightly sneering, not always in tune but a 100% "love it or loath it" attitude. This is one "glam" CD that even your glam hating friends can enjoy.

Two out of the ten tracks are cover versions"Crocodile Rock " and "Chip Away At the Stone" though I'm surprised that Bowie hasn't sued over the opening of "Looks so Good" as that has more than a hint of "Diamond Dogs" in it before it goes off to stake it's own identity. However, the covers are well chosen and fit in nicely with the rest of the material.

Quite why these guys never made it is beyond me but if you are a fan of mid 80's sleaze rock then this is a must have purchase.

by Phil T.

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