Posts Tagged ‘Ritchie Buzz’

Christmas has arrived early! October 2014 and a new Kevin K album. That’s cause for celebration folks, for the man with the best voice in rock ‘n’ roll has yet again delivered the goods with his new album, ‘Hurt You’. I’ve always loved Kevin’s acoustic tunes. He has an earnest voice suited to the stripped back style, with an infectious appeal that’s hard not to like. Kevin K released a bunch of acoustic tunes back in 2001 with the excellent ‘From The Delta To The Bowery’ CD, and ‘Hurt You’ takes more from the top shelf. As a concept, ‘Hurt You’ is in many ways a tip of the hat to Johnny Thunders’ 1983 solo album ‘Hurt Me’, both in look (cover art) and sound (stripped back acoustic), with many of Kevin’s best known rockers given the acoustic treatment. The album opens up with the pondering ‘Intrusive’, awash with reflection and a catchy chorus, before a pared back version of ‘Joey and Me’ follows. Kevin’s heartfelt tribute to his pet of 15 years, this song continues to move me, and anyone who has ever lost a lifelong pet or someone close will relate. I was listening to this tune a lot in May this year when I had to put our dog of 14 years to sleep. A powerful and evocative song.  Up next is a peeled back version of the now classic tribute tune to Jennifer Love Hewitt,  ‘Jennifer Love’, with the acoustic guitars right up front. Catchy, sing-along classic. Kevin K is a guy who has always worn his heart (and influences) on his sleeve, with nods to Thunders, the Ramones and Stiv Bators evident here. If there’s been a better tribute to the Ramones than KK’s ‘Joey and Dee Dee’, I am yet to hear it.  No Ramones indeed. The take of Thunders’ ‘It’s Not Enough’ is as expected, spot on, whilst his cover of the Lords ‘Russian Roulette’ also hits the bullseye.  There’s an extremely likable renewed version of the Road Vultures ‘Call’ that sounds great to my ears, melodic sensibilities in overdrive. Hot summer days, ice cold beer and the two Road Vultures albums blasting from my speakers. A practice I subscribe to often, and so should you. A pleasant surprise to hear long time KK bass man Ritchie Buzz sing lead vocals on a couple of tunes, with ‘Waitin For You’ a particular highlight. With right hand man Ricky Rat sounding as rock solid as ever on guitar, ‘Hurt You’ is the one album you need in 2014. The CD comes with a remastered bonus – Kevin’s ‘Story Of My Life’ CD , which was originally released back in 2002 on Freddy Lynxx’s Sucksex label. This album still sounds as vital and relevant as it did back then, and kicks major ass. Effectively, you are getting two Kevin K albums for the price of one. Kevin K has a back catalogue of musical riches that is an Aladdin’s cave – so if you ain’t done so already, go forth and discover the enriching music of Kevin K, the one and only rock ‘n’ roller who consistently delivers. Kevin has a DVD out that is a visual bio of his life in rock ‘n’ roll, and a book about his life too called ‘How To Become A Successful Loser‘.  ‘Hurt You’ is another in a long line of great Kevin K albums, and is out now on Realkat Records. Get it today! 10 out of 10.

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We are indeed – blessed. 2013, and the great Kevin K is still releasing original, new rock n roll of the highest quality.  If you are a young’un reading this, dissatisfied by inferior, bland bands from your own peer group – Kevin K rock n roll is what you are looking for. Kevin’s music has enriched my life for 20 years, and in my opinion, there is none better. Kevin K is the definitive rock n roller – and is my favourite artist – past, present, and future. Why ? His songs are memorable, his songs are durable. No one has a better penchant for melody, no one writes songs with a better hook, and as ‘Allies’, his twentieth something album attests, his song writing / story telling have strong, instant appeal that engage the listener. Thematically, ‘Allies’ continues on from other recent Kevin K albums (Deutschland, Firestorm etc), which focus on the impact of World War 2, including key battles, the D-Day landings, the bombing of both England and Germany. ‘Allies’ is dedicated to the heroes of WW II, (including Kevin’s father, who was with General MacArthur when he famously returned to the Philippines). ‘Allies’ also refers to the various nationalities of the various band members who made this album – all Allies of rock n roll in the war against the jive. The album contains a whopping 23 tunes, 11 of which are new ones. A bunch of these were recorded with his Euro band line-up (Ricky Rat on guitar, stalwart Ritchie Buzz on bass and Laur Bomb on drums), a couple of the others were recorded with Duane Rollick and Billy Summer in Florida. The album opens with the call to arms anthem that is “Allies Of Rockin Roll” – a salute to the rock ‘n’ roll brethren across the globe that actually get what Kevin K rock ‘n’ roll is all about.  “This Time Around” follows up next – heavy on the melody, super catchy chorus, great hook – the Kevin K formulae for crafting archetypal power pop/punk – and after having written hundreds and hundreds of songs over the years, he is indeed, a master of his craft. The ruminating “Lost My Marbles” is a superbly crafted tune, menacingly melodic and hard to beat – another Alan K tune that is pure gold. “Red White and Blue” is another tell-tale tune about the courage of a Flying Fortress pilot – with a stunning solo and catchy riff. “Meet Me At The Party” is pure pop punk excess with likeable lead vocals by Ritchie Buzz. There’s a reworking of Kevin’s tribute to Jerry Nolan, “Countdown For a Doll” that originally appeared on his “From The Delta To The Bowery” acoustic CD, and sounds killer with a band behind it. I forgot how good this tune was. ‘Give Me Back My Girl’ is fantastic power pop, an ode to a former love resplendent with strings on the chorus. There is no one, repeat, no one on the planet who can pen catchy pop songs as consistently well as Kevin K.  Yes he should have been mega successful in the world of rock n roll, (go buy his book and read all about his life in rock ‘n’ roll here), but he just keeps keeping on, writing and playing his music to anyone who cares to listen – and listen you should. “Hell’s Kitchen” is all 77 style punk, before ‘Crazy For You’, the obligatory ode to Jennifer Love Hewitt comes blasting outta my speakers. Catchy, melodic and draped in pop sensibilities. This should justly be top ten ! How many songs has KK penned about JLH now ? Enough for a double CD release me thinks! ‘Cool Fools’ with its sing-along chorus rounds out proceedings. As a bonus, you also get the ‘13th Street’ album, (originally released back in 2001 on my old label Vicious Kitten Records) with all 12 tunes remastered with new sonic appeal, so crank ‘em up nice and loud! If you are a fan of Kevin K, you will dig this CD, if not, become an ally of rock n roll and discover what I have known for a long time now – Kevin K rock n roll is the best there is. If you buy only one album this year – you should make it this one. ‘Allies’ scores 10 out of 10. Buy it here.

Kevin K – The Successful Loser DVD – Buy here

Kevin K – How To Become A Successful Loser Book Buy here