Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Gears "Rockin' at Ground Zero" Deluxe Edition/D.I.s "Rare Cuts"

(Hep Cat Records) The Gears were an L.A. punk band that formed in '78 and took on a kind of Stray Cats retro juvenile delinquent vibe, but kept one foot in L.A. punk, creating some prime pogo poundings. Their album, reissued here with a bunch of demos and singles tracks, was as solid as any record by a 2nd tier L.A. 70s punk band, and the title track coulda shoulda woulda been a hit if things had skewed right. But they didn't and the band broke up and transformed. The D.I.s (whose recordings are packaged with the Gears CD) are not to be confused with punk heroes D.I. They not only kept the psychobilly/surf/rock band vibe of the Gears, they took it further.  Singer Axxel G. Reese went completely "Happy Days" with this retro act, and made any inner turmoil between choosing between punk and 50s rock literal with the song "Mohowk vs. DA." A bunch of these tracks are expertly produced by the amazing Billy Zoom of X fame.  Others were produced as a demo for A&M Records that I assume went nowhere.  All of it makes me wonder why these guys are only known to record collectors these days.  It’s a plain shame!

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