Friday, February 6, 2009


1980 BRATS – “1980 Brats” 1980 (CBS, Denmark) – Like a lot of other albums that are very important to me, I remember the day I got this one in a very cool trade. I actually remember calling in to work & saying I had a doctor’s appointment so that I could go to the Post Office & pick up the package that I knew contained this motherfucker. As it happened, I’d only been initially interested in the record for collector’s purposes, as it features the embryonic guitar work of Mercyful Fate’s Hank Shermann & Michael Denner. I had heard from a friend that it was predominantly trashy & somewhat pedestrian punk and, on my first listen, that’s how it hit me. Only one problem with that scenario, however. Over the years, it came to pass that 1980 BRATS lone effort became one of my most-played platters. Explaining that may not be as difficult as it seems. To begin with, this LP is easily one of the most weirdly original things I’ve ever heard. Cross some “Hell Bent…” Priest-styled rhythms with a, yes, punk feel and mix in totally over-the-top, ferocious lead guitar. Think BOULDER, in that regard. Then, stir in pure catchiness. The riffs to “Heavy Rocker” and “OY-905,” while being as heavy as a girl named Birtha driving a dump truck, also sport some of the best hooks I’ve heard in life. When you combine that all with Yenz Cheyenne’s in-your-face, “fuck off” vocal delivery, you’ve got a mix that I’ve never heard anywhere else and that defies genres while straddling several. Did I mention the Russian folk song SUNG by Michael Denner?! How ‘bout the impossibly rare-looking silver-foil cover with the band jamming? Both Hank & Michael are playing Flying V’s and Shermann has a Priest shirt on! Lead axe death, incredibly rare, find and die! 10.0

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