Saturday, February 12, 2011

Bazooka Jones Gots What It Takes; Knows How To Use It

Bazooka Jones is one of the most exciting bands on today’s scene. Their brand of hook-laden rock and roll thunder and Gore-Gore-Girl group retro is a refreshing return to music that can get you revved-up and thinking that life can be fun after all.
At center stage is a foxy beautiful singer with the non de plume of Viagra. Well, I’d swallow that pill any day, stiff neck and all. She flat out sings her ass off, completely free and uninhibited, like the love shack child of Reg Presley and Kate Pierson. She possesses a marvelous range that allows her to sing like Chrissie Hynde over the power chords, hiccup like Holly or whisper sweet and Lolita-like before the music kicks-in

Hey…OK … I gotta admit - I jones for Viagra but this band is more than the sum of its parts. Each player contributes significantly to the overall sound, feel, look and vibe of Bazooka Jones. Sure, they look a bit oddly drecked out and surreal but that only adds to the fun and helps obscure a sometimes deeper message about commitment, love and the primacy of relationship. It could put off a fan base that comes of age plugged in, turned around and seeking a quick fix.

The guitarist - Mr. Bullethead Jones - is fantastic, slamming out power chords like a skinny Van Halen riffing as if his life depended on it. He crafts stinging solos that hit that E-string with a vengeance yet never neglects the bass line, giving his sound a sonic depth that Kenny Olson would give his left nut for. His power and plunder virtuosity recalls the ascendance of our early guitar heroes before the big hair and trickle-down lies of the eighties would ramp up the discord and change our country forever.
This is much more fun.

The drummer Billy Love is an absolute powerhouse Bonham-eyed monster of a time keeper. He pounds them skins like Johnny Wadd giving it to Misty Dawn for about the umpteenth time and ol’ Misty getting’ off on the last thrust just as much as the first stroke. Love’s beat packs more wallop than a Chuck Morris roundhouse kick and wipes out any doubt that this band came to town to rock yer socks off.
Bazooka Jones is a bizarre-looking, genre jumping testosterone fueled band led by a mighty she-girl and they have more balls than Denny Laine coming on to Lovely Linda with the old man sleeping-it-off in the next room. In other words, they rock.

Their debut CD is a nuclear-powered sonic landscape akin to Apollo 11 blasting off to the moon @ G-Force. The opening two tracks packed the most unexpected and powerful 1-2 wallop since Cheney shot his best corporate buddy in the ass back in naught-six. Pants Off opens the disc with a ferocious gut wrenching gale-force power that takes my breath away and gets me thinking about takin’ a cold shower. This steroid-enhanced chest-pounding slam-fest is a direct descendant of Stepping Stone, Paul Revere’s version, with Mark Lindsey puffed-up and growling like a wild banshee, only Viagra has him beat by a mile. She not only steps up the heat she sets the whole place on fire, Ooh Poo Pah Doo this!
She Wants Me continues the stab-in-the-chest primal ear shattering glory that any died-in-the-wool Kinks fan could appreciate. The sexual ambiguities in the lyrics are a total orgasmic turn-on… and great fun.
Love up has a fifties bee-hive girl group feel that could even get a rise outta Spector as he sits strapped-in and ready to take the juice. This is sing-a-long song with a great rhythmic vibe. I can envision the dance floor filled with “girls and boys makin’ tons of noise, shaking their bones to Bazooka Jones”. Hell…even I shake my groove thing to Love Up…and I thought I lost it a coupla months back at Walmart. Oh baby!! Swinging on the Moon is power pop ballad sung sweet and pure and it makes you believe in love, at least for the moment. The singer’s been around the piss pot a few times and isn’t sure she can find the handle. She does… but her grasp is loosening.
Goodbye Mr. Nice Guy is one of the best kiss-off songs I’ve ever heard. It’s filled with a wondrous dialectic with tongue firmly in cheek e.g., anytime is the right time to say goodbye or he likes to see her cum, she likes to see him go…AMEN sister girl! That rehearsed nicely nice boy is a bit creepy - wonder what’s beneath the mask - a future Bank of America executive?
The lone cover, a heavy version of Lee Hazlewood’s These Boots Were Made For Walking, flashes a memory of Nancy Sinatra dropping the microphone on Sullivan, bending over to reveal her lovely cantilevered and mini-skirted derrière– and at the very moment she mooned the screen - sales went up to a half million! Truth.
Bazooka Ride is the most blatant attempt to fashion bubblegum leer-ics in the best tradition of Kasentz and Katz but it also seems to tag some autobiographical material like pink guitars and whammy bars - the Legend of Bazooka Jones?
Girl on Fire is a break-up song – a song of liberation, freedom the shackles of a controlling relationship. And Life of the Party seems to fit nicely as its companion piece. It might be telling the story of Edie Sedgwick and her central role in the Warhol myth. But it could be about any person with ambition who confronts a dilemma and has to make a choice.
Drive-in Boy opens with a drum riff straight outta the Human Beinz’ Nobody But Me. This is a grievous tale of role reversal. The girl is treating the boy like boys treat girls. Damn sex objects - love Viagra’s panting pastiche that recalls Reg Presley’s lascivious moans on Strange Movies, a great Troggs song featured on Bowie’s ’73 Midnight Special TV show.
Perfect One is a rollicking ballad about love and commitment – when two become a couple…the perfect one. A song guaranteed to get your foot tappin’ and put a smile on your face.
BABYFOOLAROUND is a funky fun tribute to the Troggs with shades of Come Now (the MC5 powered-up version) and a glorious mid-song riff borrowed from Wild Thing - a great closer to one of the best CDs of 2006 (and 2007).

Bazooka Jones is currently recording their next elpee worth of tunes entitled Sweet Tooth Crud. Stay tuned! Check them out @ or

Bo White

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