Death On The Radio
Life On The Line / Pleasure & Pain
Label: Scare America Records
Produced: Mike Villalobos
Bloody Mary Powers / vocals
Evol Powers / Bass
Danny Dorman / Guitar
Roger Delong / Drums
1. Life On The Line
2. Pleasure & Pain
To really get Death On The Radio you have to understand the punk rock scene in the early eighties. On any given night you could have Black Flag, Christian Death and an acoustic set by Phranc all on the same bill. The club scene was going through an incredible flux, you had Hollywood punk, hardcore beach punk, death rock and the psychedelic thing all happening at the same time. Death On The Radio is a result of every one of these genres mixed together and thrown into a blender.
Not sure if this will make sense, but DOTR is equal parts English and American punk. Some of the music makes you stop and go, “Shit, which band does this remind me of,” then the next riff you’re scratching your head again.
In order to describe Mary Powers vocals I’d need a PhD. She is insane. On track two, Pleasure & Pain, she does this, almost, Siouxie Sioux style of vocals, kind of a howl, almost a shriek, and just as I start to figure out her style and paint her into a corner, she lets out this monster Ann Wilson (Heart) power vocal, and I’m fuckin’ floored.
And the first song, Life On The Line, is one of those songs that if you were having a house party and they played this live . . . the neighbors would call the cops and shut your party down. It’s loud, fast and noisy, just the way it needs to be. Two or three times I almost pick up a slight Debbie Harry style in Powers’ vocal, then just like that she’s on to a different feel altogether.
And lastly the band, these guys are tighter than a gnat’s bunghole. This the type of band I’d what behind me if I ever decided to punish the world and attempt to sing . . . again. But don’t worry, I wouldn’t come close to putting Ms. Powers out of a job.
If you get the chance to get a copy, go do it.
Rating: *** three out of three stars
On to the story . . .
On November 7, 2011, at about 8:30 my brother sent me a text saying that Joe Frazier passed away. It felt like I lost an old friend. As a huge boxing fan, and one time fighter I idolized the fighters of that era, Ali, Frazier, Foreman and Norton.
Frazier, I was always a bit more sympathetic towards since Ali seemed to go to a very dark place when preparing to fight him. Ali called Frazier “dumb,” a “gorilla,” and mocked on TV by saying the he was unable to read. And worst of all, for that era, an “Uncle Tom.” Once Ali crossed that racial line Bryant Gumbel, still a local sports writer, jumped on that bandwagon and wrote a scathing article about Ali being the Black Man’s Champ and Frazier, again, being the Uncle Tom.
After that I lost a lot of respect for Ali, I felt for Frazier and was sad for the lack of respect he was shown. And like most people . . . I never had any respect for Bryant Gumbel. I think what made these insults so hard for Joe was that he was born in a dirt floor cabin, and Ali, born to a school teacher, was middle class, Joe felt he was the true black experience. Rest in peace Smokin’ Joe.
LAST ONE TO DIE is officially out, order at: https://www.createspace.com/3669330.