Reviewed By: Dave Goodwin
Each track on here is a joy to listen to and has a different sound from the last. It is a mixture of every genre you could care to mention with blues being the major player. It leans towards the early Rolling Stones in numerous places such as the first track ‘Indian Highway’ and the ender ‘Bottle Cap Blues’, which sports a raucous Kazoo in the middle. One of my highlights on this great album is a version of ‘Etta’s Security’ with that Stones lead again making an appearance. ‘Dusty Bibles and Silver Spoons’ is a great, stripped down track with the washboard taking a trip down to the liquor store that’ll make you stamp and holler, but the big highlight in a hoard of highlights on here for me though is ‘Cracking Up’, a R&B ska- tasting number which is probably my favourite track to kick start the new year with!
As far as positives go when you sum up an album like this you have to just smile because ‘Let Loose’ is just packed to the rafters with them. It is a fantastic starting point, although it is a little worrying how they are going to match this on their next album because we have it on good authority from the boys themselves to “watch out now cus’ it ain’t our last!” With a guy in the band that goes by the name of Johnny Santana, they can’t fail, can they? Marvellous!
BY MICHAEL TOLAND
The product of numerous sessions in different locales over the course of a couple of years, Nine Lives and Forty Fives follows the band’s usual garage-rocking glam punk MO, with tunes and attitude in equal measure. Preston and Aaron Minton’s exuberant guitar and sax riffs roll across the bouncing rhythms of bassist Lights Out Levine and drummer David S. Field, as Preston’s grainy pout lords over all. The band’s attack brings out the best in its energy-spewing songs, from the sneering “Rubbish” and the pogoing “Pretty Little Head” to the roaring “Eat Your Heart Out” and the cheeky “Tattooed Love Girls.” The quartet also blasts through a trio of covers that give insight into their musical minds, putting the Prima Donna stamp on Dwight Twilley (“I’m On Fire”), the Rubinoos (“Rock and Roll is Dead”) and Blondie (“Rip Her to Shreds”).
By the time its 33 minutes are over, Nine Lives and Forty Fives will leave you exhausted from head-bopping, air guitar slashing and general leaping about the room in rock & roll abandon.
Schwindy’s indie music spotlight: Prima Donna
Prima Donna will release its new album at Amoeba on February 10
When you hear a lot of new music, the selections really run the gamut. You get bands that are dramatic and melancholy, and you get bands that rock you from the first notes of the new album. Count Prima Donna in the second category.
The album begins with “Pretty Little Head” and it leaves very little mystery about what you’ll hear on the rest of the album. This song is pure garage rock – and to be honest it sounds like the garage rock of the 60s. The way this band plays together is impressive. In this song, you’ll hear some frenetic drumming and bass lines, some great guitar, and tempo that will get you moving – quickly. Plus, you’ll hear some gritty lead vocals and backing vocals that bring Ramones to mind. If you’re already a fan of garage rock, this song will only help you like it more. If you’re not a fan of garage rock, this song might be enough to win you over.
Kevin Preston, who sings with LA glam-punk’n’rollers Prima Donna, is also a member of the Foxboro Hot Tubs, a band that includes Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong. But wait! Come back! This doesn’t sound anything like Billie’s boys, but is instead a rather lovely nugget of new-wavey pop-rock, like The Strokes, but harder. Steven Van Zandt is a fan.
Beatles-esque vocal harmonies meet clap-along rhythms in the latest number by the Los Angeles rock outfit Prima Donna, “Deathless”.
In the press materials for their new album, Nine Lives and Forty-Fives, the Los Angeles rock band Prima Donna are described as having a “curriculum [that] includes musical road trips with Eddie and the Hot Rods, Adam Ant, D-Generation and even Green Day, who they supported on two arena tours on two continents.” The influences of those groups are certainly evident in Prima Donna’s music, but on their latest number, “Deathless”, their vocal harmonies bring to mind an influence that few if any rock bands can escape: the Beatles. With this track, Prima Donna tips their cap to their forebears while adding their own driving verve and energy, with some excellent work on the low end by the bass playing of “Lights Out” Levine.