Monday, January 3, 2022

The Peppermint Kicks - The Peppermint Kicks

“Hey, you there!  You with the glasses!  I want you.  I want you in the front.  Don’t lean on me man, ‘cause you can’t afford the ticket.  Let’s kick out the jams and find our lust for life, coz mama weer all crazee now!  I’ll bring my Sharona, you bring Irene Wilde, and we’ll take those California girls and get ourselves a piece of the action.  We’ll surrender to rock’n’roll, yeah
"Hey, that you down there Dan?"
surrender - but we won’t give ourselves away, and we won’t let people put us d-d-down. We’ll get our teenage kicks on Route 66!”
Yeah, all that.  And all points before, between and beyond, if you get my drift.
See, I was born in ’62, so I was 9-years old when Slade had their first Top 10 hit with ‘Coz I Luv You’.  The fashions of glam rock weren’t remotely my pre-teen thing, man, but the music was.  Not that I knew it then, but glam pointed back to the wild evolution of rock’n’roll, sideways to my seduction by the power of hard rock – and also forward to the revolution of punk.  And though the latter was the road less travelled for this kid, its impact still resonated down the years.
The Peppermint Kicks are Bostonians Sal Baglio and Dan Kopko, plus a few pals when called for.  Never bleedin’ heard of ‘em till last week, to be honest.  But listening to their self-titled album, I can only think that these guys shared a kinda similar trajectory to me, way back when and way across the Atlantic Ocean.  And then they probably went and formed garage bands that thrashed through their passion for ‘Louie Louie’ and ’96 Tears’ right alongside ‘20th Century Boy’, ‘All The Way From Memphis’, and Blondie’s ‘Rip Her To Shreds’
Get a load of opener ‘When Rock & Roll Met Your Dad’, with Kopko’s vocal sounding uncannily
"Quiet Sal - I'm listening to the Man In Black!"
(and surely on purpose) like a wistful Ian Hunter, while Baglio’s piercing lead guitar competes with sweeping strings and backing vocals.  Or ‘Strawberry Girls’, with Baglio at the mic this time as they mash up ‘Blackberry Way’ with Beach Boys harmonies.  Or the tougher ‘Shag ‘72’, which sounds like a lost demo by Cheap Trick, with Kopko taking the chance to get his rocks off on guitar.  Or the invitation for Iggy to make a guest appearance on the edgier, punkier ‘Stooge’.

Get the idea?  This is a power popping' rockn'roll adrenaline rush stuffed with diamond-hard hooks to make you ache to be part of a sweaty, joyous crowd, heaving and bouncing in front of a cramped stage, just like you did in yesteryear.  Which is pretty much what the Peppermint Kicks envisage with ‘Johnny D’s (Play It Again)’, all spangly, jangly guitars and “doo-do, doo-doo-doo-doo” singalong moments.  And surely they’d encore with ‘Rock & Roll Rampage’, heralded by a siren straight outta ‘Blockbuster’, before they beat the crap out of the riff from ‘Route 66’, stuff it into the trunk of a souped-up Ford alongside drummer Chris Anzalone impersonating Keith Moon, and blast off down the strip with one last scrape of a pick along an E string.
You’ll have worked out by now that I’m breathless about this album.  Yeah, I know, I know – it’s not a blues record.  But goddamn it, if you yearn for ‘The Golden Age Of Rock’n’Roll’, then The Peppermint Kicks has got your name written all over it!  Whaddya waitin’ for?
 
The Peppermint Kicks is out now on Rum Bar Records, and is available here (or from Amazon etc).
 
Notes:
  1. Sal Baglio is also a member of The Stompers and The Amplifier Heads.  Dan Kopko (aka Danny The K), is also a member of Watts, and The Shang Hi Los.  I know nothing about these bands.  Yet.
  2. I never much cared for Marc Bolan.  The guy could write a great riff, but his simpering style and his half-arsed lyrics weren’t for me.  Give me Slade, Mott The Hoople, or even the ChinniChap production line of (The) Sweet, Suzi Quatro and Mud any day.
  3. Credit to fellow blogger Andy Thorley of maximumvolumemusic.com, whose review tipped me off to The Peppermint Kicks.

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