Friday, November 6, 2009

The Vacant Lot - ...Because They Can (Shake/Cargo, 1992)

Lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Pete Ciccone is no stranger to the NYC rock 'n' roll nightlife. Partnering with Steve Baise and company as a member of The Rat Bastards in 1988, the band's rockin' sound and drunken antics caught the ears of Crypt Records. The legendary Billy Childish was designated to oversee the recording of 14 tracks intended for the first album. However, two of the Bastards gave songs such as "Gimme That Girl," "C'Mon Lil Baby" and "Suck The Dog" thumbs-down due to their rawness. The entire project was re-recorded in March '89, but complaints about the vulgarity of the material being inappropriate for outlets like Sam Goody eventually splintered the group. Dirty birds Baise and guitarist Andy G -- now calling themselves The Devil Dogs -- remained in the nest. Before flying away to The Vacant Lot with Ciccone, drummer Paul Corio put the finishing touches on the ' Dogs' self-titled debut. The results were stellar, but would the departed doves lay a rotten egg in their next outfit?

Not a chance! Exhibiting the 1-2-3-4 street smarts and lovelorn styles of the Ramones and Dictators, TVL hatch twelve golden yolks worthy of stacked breakfast trays at the finest 24-hour diner. When regrets of hurtful things you said to your girl cause wasted days and nights, count on her being "Good As Gone." Next time, bite your tongue and pick up the empty boxes of chicken vindaloo. Is it difficult to maintain self-control when seeing your ex on her way to school? Please try to avoid shouting "Miss You Baby" in front of the police station, because it could introduce you to a girl named Miranda who's into handcuffs. Toughening the hide, you stare into your former love's face and realize the warm feelings are forever lost. You're glad she's experiencing some of your pain. Therefore, "I Won't Say I'm Sorry" is a proud stance. Several months later, the not-so-much-missed miss wants another crack at the relationship and is giving you a "Hard Hard Time." Not desiring the static cling and empty conversation, you ixnay the second-round possibility. Finding someone else to "Take Her Place," the new lady performs some of the ex's old tricks ("I came in outta town/Couldn't believe my eyes/There she was rolling on the floor/She's with some other guy"). The exuberance of the wanna-be rock 'n' roll star in The Dictators' "Loyola" counters with the troubled soul of We Five's "You Were On My Mind," but TVL blanket both with the same degree of electricity and reverence.

Why do some women play upon men's emotions like Fido's chew toy? Because they can.
- Gunther 8544

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