After a 35+ year hiatus from music, Rob Moss recorded an album of 14 proto-punk-inspired rock ‘n’ roll songs, featuring 14 different lead guitarists, including:
Bob ‘Derwood’ Andrews – Generation X
Nels Cline – Wilco, Nels Cline 4
Don Fleming – Velvet Monkeys, Gumball, Dinosaur Jr
Franz Stahl – Scream, Wool, Foo Fighters
Billy Loosigian – Willie Alexander and the Boom Boom Band
Mario Monterosso – Tav Falco’s Panther Burns
Marshall Keith – The Slickee Boys
Brian Gay – Government Issue
Stuart Casson – Smash Fashion, Dove, The Meatmen
Saul Koll – The Lovesores
In addition to top lead guitar talent, Spit Stix (Fear) drums on two songs and Francesco D’Agnolo (also of Tav Falco’s Panther Burns) plays piano on another.
If Rob’s name is familiar it’s because he was a member of Government Issue and Artificial Peace — two iconic Washington, D.C. hardcore bands.
Looking to get back into the rock ‘n’ roll game, Rob called up old friends and friends of friends to record an album of new material. While a bass player in his past, Rob now plays rhythm guitar and sings lead vocals. From the opening proceedings of ‘Babble Tower’ to the curtain call of ‘Rock n Roll Is Dead’ Rob turns in an impressive array of songs from the confident punch of the opener, Rob calls upon his friends from back in the day to lend a hand and help out a Rock and Roll brutha and the array of talent does just that.
The list of guitarists lending a hand is impressive which also adds some colour to the palet of Robs straight up Dead Boys meets Social Distortion old school punk n roll. Chris Rudolph lets off some steam on ‘Babble Tower’ and straight into ‘Ugly Chair’ that has Rob drawling on a Lou Reed vibe with Saul Koll bending the six strings like a good un.
We take a slight detour on track four and wander through the Coops garden picking up a lick here and a shuffle there sounding like prime time Alice Cooper band is never a bad place to find oneself. Stuart Casson is the player who lends some Roll to the Rock that’s being cooked up. ‘No 48 Crash’ is solid 70s glam as a tip of the hat is made to the lady in leather who no doubt inspired the groove.
If you want another change of gear ‘Oxygenate’ has some classic rock swirling organ for good measure. I must admit I always love me some sleazy rawk n roll with a snotty dash of punk rock swagger and ‘Real Fine Kitty’ might be generic but I love it and its strut all that’s missing is the horn section tooting surely Rob had a Memphis horn section in his little black book?
Brian Gay turns up for a little tip of the Johnny Thunders handclappin’ rock and roll on ‘A Maltese Falcon’ and when a record has too much Johnny Thunders licks on it I’m tapping out as well.
The track I anticipated the most was the final knocking with Former Gen X band member Bob ‘Derwood’ Andrews who to be fair plays the song and doesn’t use it to jerk out a bazillion notes where they’re not needed and besides he has the cowbell going on as well and when has a record ever had too much cowbell? Exactly. Andrews is a fine addition but cmon guys ‘Rock and Roll Is Dead’? Never, not on my watch and not on the watch of Rob Moss & Skin Tight Skin either. If you still believe in punk rock and roll with swagger and plenty of ’70s inspired glam rock then what are you waiting for hit the link and pick it up.