Prior to this 1992 album, long term Ramones fans were not very optimistic about the future. Although the previous studio LP (1989's 'Brain Drain') had showed signs of improvement following some weak late 80's efforts, founder member and bassist Dee Dee was gone. Things looked bleak. But it turned out we needn't have worried.
When the opening track jumps out of the speakers and pins you against the wall, all this apprehension goes out the window. The power and vitality that made us love the Ramones in the first place, is back.
New bassist CJ seems to have injected a new level of enthusiasm into the band, even proving to be an acceptable vocalist on 'Strength To Endure' and the brilliant 'Main Man', both as it happens, co-written by Dee Dee.
Elsewhere, tracks such as 'It's Gonna Be Alright' and 'Tomorrow She Goes Away' firmly put the smile back on the faces of the faithful, as both echo the classic Ramones style. Other traditions are kept alive with a few mellower moments like 'I Won't Let It Happen' and the catchy 'Poison Heart'.
'Cabbies On Crack' is Joey's true story of a scary New York cab ride he once took, but at least he survived to tell the tale!
All this, and a crisp production job, easily make it Da Brudders' best album since those essential 70's masterpieces. The phrase "Return To Form" has never been more appropriate.
This re-issue comes with a bonus track and is superbly packaged, so go on, just buy it, and see why this legendary band are sadly missed.