City Slang: âOut of the Closetâ Revisited
Oh yes, the fuckinâ Trash Brats. Born in â87 when guitarist Ricky Rat and singer Brian OâBlivion discovered a shared love of the New York Dolls, Wayne County & the Electric Chairs, T-Rex and trashy underground Brit bands like the Dogs Dâamour, the ugliest hookers on Cass (only just, mind) put out a debut album in â91 that is considered something of a mini-classic, or at least an overlooked gem, around Detroit.
In many ways, the Trash Brats were (and are, when they play their occasional reunion shows) the perfect rock ânâ roll band. First of all, they were flawed, which all rock ânâ roll bands should be. OâBlivion isnât the best singer in the world by any means. When heâs not off key, heâs out of time. And yet he was perfect for the Trash Brats because itâs that ragged, donât-give-a-flying-fuck vibe that made the Trash Brats so fuckinâ trashy. And they really were. Just look at them.
Rat, in actual fact, could play the shit out of his guitar and he did so on every one of the 13 tracks that make up â96âs Out of the Closet. By this time, the lineup was completed by bassist Toni Romeo (now of Easy Action) and drummer Craig Cashew. The Trash Brats were five years past that debut and they were six years away from a breakup, but the songs on here are among the best they ever put out.
The perfect combination of Cheap Trick-esque power pop, New York Dolls pomp, Ramones bubblegum and, of course, DE-troit grit, itâs the choruses that get you every time. âTime Donât Wanna Tellâ is still refusing to leave your head when âLandlordâ kicks in and pretty much drowns it out. Romeo gets behind the mic for the incredible âTeen Suicide Storyâ, while the boogie-woogie piano on song like âLandlordâ and âComfort Me With Liesâ is reminiscent of Mott the Hoople and the aforementioned Dogs Dâamour. âEating Crowâ is pure punk obnoxiousness, with the tune to back it up. Shit, every songâs a winner.
The Trash Brats were never meant to take over the world. They were supposed to stay in Detroit, eating shitty food and robbing clothes from the back of the worst thrift stores. Sorry boys, thatâs just the way it had to be. Thatâs probably why they broke up the first time. Mortal men can only take so much filth and make up. Every now and again though, they pull out the old mascara and get back to being Brats again. It might pay shit, but itâs what they do best.
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