The Joneses - Criminal History Revisited

Long after the New York Dolls originally imploded there were a vast number of bands still taking their inspiration from them and The Joneses were no exception. Back in the 80's The Joneses completely passed me by but thankfully record label Full Breach Kicks seem determined to make sure that their legacy is still available today.

As the title suggests - "Criminal History Revisited" is a not so brief run through of their past releases from their early demo beginnings in 1982 through to the last release in the late 90's and what a brilliant roller coaster ride of good time rock 'n' roll it is. Opener "Pill Box" is a cracking opener with energetic spirited guitar riffs and the kind of chorus that'll haunt you for hours and by the time you get to "Fix Me" the band are motoring at such a speed that they sound almost permanently at risk of losing control and crashing and burning into a heap but somehow they manage to keep it all together.

As time progresses the production values increase and I start to miss the almost sloppy demo feel of the earlier tracks although by the time the last non demo tracks start to roll in the band once again sound like a band with less of the instrument separation that makes some of the middle CD tracks sound too manufactured. I'm loving the hand claps in the chorus of "You Can't Come" and the almost too perfect pre-chorus and chorus to "1-2-3"

This band almost had it all, great lyrics, a vocalist just perfect for the sleazy rock-and-roll life in the gutter lyrics and the almost obligatory piano underpinning the lot. All they didn't have was massive success but I put that down to the fact that in those days the market was flooded with similar bands. So, nothing new here but for a fine dose of nostalgia for those days when rock was focused more on fun and having a good time than conveying a message you couldn't do much better than this, just don't be afraid to hit that "skip" button a couple of times. With 24 tracks you're bound to find something that you don't want to listen to twice!

by Phil T.

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