There was a time when garage/6-T’s
punk bands were a dime a dozen, namely in the ‘60s and the 80’s. Come the early
21st century, not so much. Its popularity, not unlike the
rockabilly, ska and surf genre’s, seems to wax and wane every ten years or so.
Currently we‘re experiencing an emergence of a new, hybrid indie-garage sound
found in bands like the Black Lips, The Strange Boys, Harlem and The Soft Pack.
Some of the dinosaur throwbacks from the ‘80s boom still roam the Earth though,
i.e.; The Fuzztones, The Cynics, The Chesterfield Kings, The Fleshtones and even
my old pals, The Morlocks.
Like the best of this genre, The
Sons of Hercules stir elements of Iggy, The Dead Boys and The New York Dolls
into the pot. One could draw an easy comparison between them and the Fleshtones
particularly, based on lead singer Frank Pugliese’s voice and singing style.
Garage rock shall remain the Polar Star to set course by to return to the roots
of rock, when pulled off course by commercial shite and the dreck pop-puke on
American Idol, rotting the minds of America’s youth. Young impressionable minds
should only be rotted, and morals corrupted by stuff like the Stooges, The
Ramones and their ilk.
A Different Kind of Ugly is the Sons’ fifth full-length album and
arguably best to date. These guys have been laboring hard for many years in the
salt mines of musicianship and living the rugged r&r lifestyle, which ain’t
for sissies. Pugliese’s earlier band, The Vamps, opened for the Sex Pistols in
their notorious San Antonio show, tempting dismemberment by the deranged crowd.
A song from his later band, The Mystery Dates, “Easy Action”, is one of the
highlights on this album. Among the dozen songs are covers of “(I’m)
Misunderstood” by The Saints and “Rock of Gibraltar” by legendary
garage-punkers, the Lazy Cowgirls. “Your Salvation” harkens back to The Flamin’
Groovies during their jangly Mod period.
The album is a triumph of
pulse-pounding, power chord rock and my only criticism is that it could have
been maybe a few songs longer than its 36 minutes.
Standout Tracks: “Starting To Slip”, “Easy Action”, “A
Different Kind Of Ugly” BARRY