Rock N' Roll Capital, Yeah!

:: Dreamer - Radio ::

:: M&R Rush - Rock N' Roll Chicago ::

:: Matteson All Stars - Gas Station Honey ::

:: Hot Luck - Stereonucleosis ::

Yes, it's one of those local battle of the bands albums. This one is courtesy of Kevin over at the plucky Pop Zeus blog, or more precisely one of his siblings who left this at his parent's house to rot for 26 years. It's back, and it's on the Internet, fer pete's sake.

Usually a local unsigned rock comp from the 1980 is almost guaranteed to be heinous. This one's actually pretty interesting. I am amazed at what passed for lyrics in 1980, though. Pretty funny shit.

First off is the fancifully-named Dreamer with their song "Radio." Now, if you cannot actually be on the radio, the next best thing is to sing about the radio. However, if you want your song to rock, you shouldn't mention your mom in the first fifteen seconds, and you definitely shouldn't say things like, "She said Honey you can turn my stereo on, but you gotta know how to use it." I mean, you know what that kind of talk meant in 1980, right? This is your mom you're talking about! All the guitar leads here were definitely delivered with a white man's overbite. Believe it, brougham. The one kind of cool part of the song is at the end when they sing "Don't touch that dial" in sort of a rockin' round, but that is effectively ruined by one of the dudes suddenly breaking into an Edith Bunker falsetto.

Next up, M&R Rush with their ode to rock n' roll in Chicago...Rock N' Roll Chicago. Many layers of cheese here. I guess it's supposed to be an anthem, but man are the lyrics ridiculous. I actually found their website, and I can present you an example of the ravages 26 years can do.

Just know that no matter how cool and rocking you look as a youngster, there's a balding, overweight or awkward you awaiting you in the future. Really, I don't mean to rag on these guys. They look like good dudes, and they still rock n' roll, possibly even in Chicago. And they have CD's and t-shirts for sale. At their website.

OK, time for my personal favorite, Matteson All Stars and the attack on your brain that is "Gas Station Honey." Just listen to it. I am not sure where they got their name, but my best guess is that they stole it from a little league team. It's a little bit about love, dancing and gasoline, but mostly a celebration of macho girls.

Finally (mercifully?), we have Hot Luck and their new wavey blurpfest, "Stereonucleosis." I imagine this band all decked out like Prince's old keyboard player, Dr. Fink. But that would make them Clinic, now wouldn't it? It's just refreshing to hear a band where instead of the guitarist being the loudest one, it's the guy with the dorky keyboard.

This post was brought to you by County Seat

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Friday, October 20, 2006 1:03:00 PM

Dreamer is definitely influenced by Elvis Costello's "Radio, Radio." No wonder they didn't get any radio play. Maybe they got some "mama" play.    

Saturday, February 24, 2007 7:29:00 PM

My copy still has the half-off coupon from the County Seat jean store. This LP has always been a major guilty's 1980, and the bands sound like they don't know whether to go new wave, or stick with arena rock, so they compromise and make dated power-pop instead. There was a Vol. 2 of this LP, with a cover meant to look like a newspaper cover; strangely enough, I see that volume in Chicago's used stores more than I do Vol. 1.

Speaking of being dated...I bought my copy in a thrift store, a mere two years after it came out.    

Monday, October 20, 2008 2:48:00 PM

Yeah, but-If you look at it, "Stereonucleosis" with its synths -poppin pre-dated ALL of the new-wave synth shit that followed. No one know who Yello was back then. these guys were PIONEERS, if admittedly dorky. A whole bunch of the guys on this record went on to major careers.    

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