on 5 June 2002
Larry Wallis is Rock 'n' Roll. Quite simply put he is the Hard rock equivalent of Hank Marvin, along with Jeff Beck (when the mood takes him), the guv'nor of axe slingers. Like a top mercenary Lazza has slung his weapon in many places, including 'Blodwyn Pig', 'U.F.O.', 'Wayne Kramer', was the original and easily the greatest guitarist with 'Motorhead' (listen to their debut album 'On Parole', it literally crushes skulls), was a 'Deviant', a 'Shagrat', with Steve Peregrin Took, and of course one of the Pink Fairies, despite their name, Britain's favorite Biker Band.
Fifteen years we have waited for a new Lazza release (not since the last true Fairies album in 1987, the fabulous 'Kill'em and Eat'em', have we heard the guitar groove). If you like guitar driven power trio, low down, dirty, sleazy Rawk and Roll, with snarled vicious vocals, guitar licks that kick you straight in the head, guitar solos that make you realize why guitars are called axes, a bass guitarist that drives every song into your brain, (every bass player should be called 'Big George'), a drummer who has never heard the word subtle, you have a sense of humour and like a good time, then this is the album for you. Don't expect anything politically correct, you aren't goner get it. 'Meatman' will have all the do-gooders reaching for pen and paper writing to Dear Hillary to be signed 'Outraged of Tooting'. No overdubs, no keyboards, no nonsense, just good ole Rock 'n' Roll Party music. This is the sort of thing Rock 'n' Roll was invented for.
In the early seventies Lazza used to concentrate on short sharp shocks of songs like 'City Kids' or 'Seeing Double'. The marvelous hook choruses are still there, but with a new maturity. Some of the songs are allowed to develop into masterworks of the electric guitar. This is perhaps best shown in 'I'm A Police Car', a song first released by Larry Wallis in 1977 in the midst of Punk rock as a single on the newly formed Stiff Label. Larry Wallis was one of the star attractions on the 'Stiff Live Stiffs' tour that toured Britain including 'Wreckless Eric', 'Elvis Costello', 'Dave Edmunds', 'Nick Lowe' and 'Ian Dury & the Blockheads'. Oh for a time machine! On 'Death In The Guitarfternoon' in 2002, Larry has gone back and completely refined the song, gloriously stretching it out to a full seven minutes, forty-four seconds. Same song, same riff, just brought screaming up to date. The Pink Fairies, Hawkwind, and Mott the Hoople were probably the only established bands that still had street credibility when Punk rock arrived on the scene, and that attitude still holds true with Larry Wallis today. You don't even have to hear the songs to know this is a potentially great album, just look at the song titles and the cartoon artwork. 'How Do You Creep' is a wonderful Rant against old Fairy 'Twink', who has made a career of re-playing one song time and time again. 'Dead Man Riding' is a guitar instrumental workout reflecting ghost riders, and 'Mrs Hippy Burning' will have them jumpin' in the aisles at Tahitian Queens Rock 'n' Roll Happy Hour on Fridays or any other day.
I shall leave you with Lazza's final words on the album cover, "This is my Band, who can dish it out, gobble it up, and deep fry the cook for good measure. These men are not normal".
Another album please soon.
Mott the Dog.