ZIGZAG - April 1977
Pages 23, 29 & 30

NEW YORK
NEW WAVE
OVER THE TOP

WELL, WE GOT THROUGH TO THE SECOND ISSUE DESPITE OPPOSITION FROM THE HIPPIES. ANYWAY, HERE WE ARE... AND IT'S ABOUT TIME WE WENT OVER THE TOP AGAIN? ESPECIALLY AFTER THE LAST COUPLE OF ISSUES. ALL THEY LET ME DO WAS ONE MEASLY ALBUM REVIEW.
AS YOU MAY HAVE GATHERED, THERE HAS BEEN SOME RESHUFFLING ON THE EDITORIAL BOARD... NOT FOR THE BETTER EITHER. I WANTED TO GIVE ZIGZAG EIGHT PAGES INSIDE A 36 PAGE OVER THE TOP, BUT THEY WOULDN'T LET ME!
STILL, WE'RE INFILTRATING - THE CLASH ARE IN THE MAIN MAG THIS MONTH...

BLONDIE
(PRIVATE STOCK)
BLONDIE ARE A FOUR MAN, ONE GIRL GROUP FROM N.Y.C. WHO PLAY SIXTIES STYLE POP... WITH A VENGEANCE! COMPLETE WITH FARFISA ORGAN, TINNY GUITAR, SURFING HARMONIES AND A POTENTIAL TEEN DREAM IN THE FORM OF SINGER DEBBIE HARRY, THEY ARE 'PUNK' IN THE TRUE LENNY KAYE SENSE OF THE WORD.
THEIR TOTAL LACK OF PRETENTION AND BOUNDLESS JUVENILE ENTHUSIASM MAKE THEM IN SOME WAYS SIMILAR TO THE RAMONES, BUT WHEREAS THE RAMONES HAVE BEEN CALLED A CARTOON ROCK GROUP, BLONDIE ARE MORE LIKE A CARICATURE OF A POP GROUP. A SOPHISTICATED VERSION OF THE KIND OF BAND THAT PLAYED IN THE PARTY SCENES IN 'SWINGING SIXTIES' MOVIES.
DEBBIE HARRY, OR BLONDIE AS SHE IS SOMETIMES KNOWN, SINGS SONGS ABOUT GOING TO THE BEACH, GETTING MARRIED, FALLING IN AND OUT OF LOVE, ETC. WITH SUCH PREPUBESCENT INNOCENCE AND CONVICTION THAT WHEN LINES LIKE "I CAN GIVE YOU SOME HEAD AND SHOULDERS TO LIE ON" CROP UP, YOU COULD EASILY BE FORGIVEN FOR THINKING THE DOUBLE ENTENDRE WAS NOT INTENTIONAL - IT'S THAT CONVINCING!
THE BAND PLAY WITH AN AMAZINGLY AUTHENTIC FEEL FOR THEIR PREDOMINANTLY 60s INFLUENCED MATERIAL, WITH THE MERRY-GO-ROUND ORGAN WORK AND SYNTHESISER OF JAMES DESTRI MUCH TO THE FORE, PARTICULARLY ON 'X OFFENDER', WHERE DEBBIE'S SPOKEN INTRODUCTION OVER CLEMENT BURKE'S SOLID DRUM BEAT IS RUDELY INTERRUPTED BY A THUNDEROUS DRUM ROLL AND THE PIERCING SOUND OF DESTRI'S FARFISA BELTING OUT A TUMBLEDOWN FAIRGROUND-LIKE RIFF OVER A HOT ROCK'N'ROLL RHYTHM. THE GUITAR SOLO IN THIS SONG IS ALSO WORTHY OF NOTE (PLAYED BY BASSIST GARY VALENTINE WHO SWAPS ROLES WITH REGULAR GUITARIST CHRIS STEIN FOR THIS SONG.), AND IS SOMETHING STRAIGHT OUT OF EARLY BEACH BOYS. ALL THIS WITH BLONDIE HERSELF APPARENTLY SINGING ABOUT A SEXUAL DEVIANT!
THIS DEMON OPENER SETS THE MOOD FOR THE REST OF THE ALBUM. OTHER EXTREMELY DANCEABLE UP-TEMPO NUMBERS LIKE 'LITTLE GIRL LIES', BITCHY 'RIP HER TO SHREDS' AND 'KUNG FU GIRLS' ARE INTERSPERSED WITH THE SURFING-INFLUENCED 'IN THE SUN', THE BIZARRE 'ATTACK OF THE GIANT ANTS' (WITH REALISTIC SOUND EFFECTS) AND A GREAT TEEN BALLAD, 'IN THE FLESH', WHICH HAS ONE OF THE MOST MEMORABLE TUNES I'VE HEARD IN AGES.
THIS PROMISING DEBUT HAS ALL THE CHARM, SPARKLE AND ZEST OF THE GREAT POP BANDS. BLONDIE IS FUN - WITH A CAPITAL F - FUN! FUN! FUN! FUN! FUN!


rip-her-to-shreds.com 2001-2008.  About | Contact | Search