It was once said If they drop a nuclear bomb on this planet, the only things left would be cockroaches…and Lemmy. well, that ain’t going to happen seeing as though Lemmy has left the building but Kevin K is still here and with dozens of albums under his belt and after a threatened retirement Kevin K is still kicking out the jams and still delivering the good. With forty something albums under his belt Kevin is still finding inspiration and being an inspiration to music lovers everywhere.
Then there’s Ricky Rat. Ricky was recently part of the Cheetah Chrome Dead Boys project that was getting decent reviews for their live shows and then that all blew up just before their proposed Rebellion Festival appearance in the UK tour and that was that. He’d been a Trash Brat and a solo artist with a couple of exemplary power-pop records under his belt but the two good friends have also toured mainland Europe together so clearly get on well and have an understanding of each other so I guess it makes perfect sense they should find themselves in a studio recording a record together.
Right, 2020. Who knew there would be a collaborated record put out between the two Rock and Rollers now the minute I heard I got excited I love Kevin’s music and Rickys so hold onto you Les Paul Jnr and get on board with ‘Party Store’. ‘Identity Crisis’ kicks off with a vibrant jangling rock and roll number with a great steady beat and some great tone and before the third run through to the chorus you’re singing along and punching the air. Sure it’s nothing new but it offers entertainment and puts a smile on my boat race. Joining forces offers the best of both worlds its not your usual Kevin K and neither is it the unadulterated power pop of Ricky Rats solo albums but it is catchy and rockin’ and the great big dirty twelve-bar of ‘Song For Lulu’ is the sound of two great pals just enjoying making music and Rockin’ out and that shines through like the fuckin’ sun!
I was wondering if it would be the case that I’d tell which one wrote which tune and would it be the case of Kevin singing one of Rickys power-pop tunes and vice versa but it’s not its something altogether different. I love the vibe of ‘Shame’ it sounds like they cut it raw and live in the studio and some of the guitar breaks are pure joy. ‘You Don’t Call’ is a breath of summer cool with the acoustic guitars and strings a most welcome left turn down a really enjoyable dreamy side street.
Getting back on it with the vibrant ‘Shes Cold’ with a great pace and dirty guitars leading the charge then crashing that one outta the way is the snotty ‘Lost America’. As the album swings back and forth it flows really neatly from one to the next but with some subtle melodies and plenty of dirt from these guys but with softer edges showing as well. They work really well together and complement each other’s strengths and the fact that the songs are strong and there aren’t any duff tracks on offer is a testament to that. I loved it when the double K worked with Texas Terri and they did a great split as well so Kevin K has form for collaborating with others and what Ricky brings to the party is excellent as well, both steeped in traditional punk rock and roll and long-established roots in the good and the great that have passed through here before them soaking it all up like sponges when it works it’s a beautiful thing.
They even sling in a silky smooth romp through ‘Let Go’ which sounds like they are having an absolute ball and a great way to sign off and pop back down the ‘Party Store’ for refills. But before you go there’s a wonderful extra mix of ‘you Don’t Call’ that seems fitting to end with as the stripped bare intro and melody is like prime time Teenage Fan club its that good.
Get on it kids these ain’t no successful losers these are the real deal and this album seriously rocks!
Author: Dom Daley