Courtney Ranshaw, the man behind Black Adidas, is a rocket scientist during the day, and and fronts up a killer punk rock band in his down time. This is his second foray into album territory. Released on punk indie Dirt Cult Records, lying somewhere between Rancid and Social Distortion Black Adidas is steeped in vintage punk rock from as far back as the Clash.
Produced by Dave Newton at Rollercoaster Recording in Ranshaw’s hometown of Burbank, Black Adidas, unlike the debut, this one features a full real live band consisting of Daniel Alexander on keyboards and Carl Raether on bass, with Kari G. Child playing the drums on three tracks and Rob Wolk handling the rest.
To be fair it has the feel of a rockin’ combo all locked in and kicking ass. from the loud and triumphant opener ‘Be Cool’ with its snotty gang vocals it’s a swaggering and staggering call to arms from the swirling keys to the Who-like power chords.
“In My Head,” is a love letter to his wife, whom he met in the same Burbank bar, where he met his producer Newton, If you’re looking for other inspirations and influences the theres always the Replacements inspired ‘Miscellaneous’ with its countrified acoustic and organ. or the rough riffage that is ‘Home’ with its soothing organ stiching together a great track. ‘Cool Riffs’ has a touch of Dinosaur Jrs J Mascis in the vocals over those big acoustic strumming just to chill out and relax for a while.
‘My Favourite Song’ no not literally (Although it might be) has the swagger of the Pogues at their most rowdy if they were covering a Rancid song. Or whatabout the cover of the Ramones’ “Howling at the Moon (Sha La La)’, so it might not reach the dizzy quality of the original but its not a whole distance behind it’. As we reach the final knockings of this album we have the uplifting ‘These Precious Sins’ before the epic closing ‘Strawberry Kisses’, a pandemic-inspired song that tips the hat to knowing you’ve just written one mighty fine tune.
I am so glad I stumbled across the path of Black Adidas and look forward to playing this record more and more and continuing the journey with such a talented songwriter. Go get it now!
Author: Dom Daley