Gories, Blacktop, Dirtbombs

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House Rockin' , 7/10
I Know You Fine , 6.5/10
Outta Here , 5/10
Blacktop: I Gotta Baaad Feeling , 7/10
Blacktop: Up All Night, 5/10
King Sound Quartet: The Getdown Imperative , 6/10
Andre Williams: Silky , 6/10
Andre Williams: The Black Godfather , 4/10
Dirtbombs: Horndog Fest , 6.5/10
Dirtbombs: Ultraglide In Black , 4/10
Dirtbombs: Dangerous Magical Noise (2003), 6/10
Dirtbombs: If You Already Have A Look (2005), 7/10 (anthology)
Dirtbombs: We Have You Surrounded (2008), 5/10
Dirtbombs: Party Store (2011), 4/10

(Clicka qua per la versione Italiana)

Mick Collins became a legend of Detroit's rock underground. With the Gories (i.e., guitarist Dan Kroha and drummer Peggy O'Neill), Collins revived the tradition of wild/dark rhythm and blues (Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Bo Diddley). House Rockin' (New Rose, 1988 - Wanghead, 1989) is raw and abrasive. Give Me Love displays a criminal degree of recklessness, and Let Me Hear The Choir Sing sounds like a voodoo-like mass.

I Know You Fine (Wanghead, 1990) is their most "accomplished" work, still overflowing with misguided verve but better recorded and played. Hey Hey We're The Gories mocks the Monkees with ten times more energy. Nytroglicerine and Six Cold Feet are two of their best (wildest) numbers. Unlike most revivalists, the Gories jump back to the blues and the gospel of the beginning of the century, and wed them to Velvet Underground's psychedelic raga (with O'Neill impersonating Tucker). The first two albums will be collected on I Know You Be House Rockin' (Crypt, 1994).

A plethora of singles kept the interest alive: Nitroglycerine (New Rose, 1990), Telepathic (In The Red, 1991), You Don't Love Me (In The Red, 1991), Give Me Some Money (Subpop, 1992), Baby Say Unh (Estrus, 1992), To Find Out (Giant Claw, 1992),

But the album Outta Here (Crypt, 1992) will end the story in a minor key. The last singles were Ichiban (Giant Claw, 1992), Bughouse (Get Hip, 1994), You Little Nothing (Get Hip, 1995).

After disbanding the Gories, Collins joined guitarist Darin Lee Wood (former Fireworks and '68 Comeback) and created Blacktop. The new band played vulgar and visceral garage-blues, halfway between Bloodloss and Pussy Galore. Mojo Kitty (In The Red, 1994) was the first, unrelenting single. While I Got A Baaad Feeling (In The Red, 1995) can't decide between a poppier style (Tornado Love), Gories-style ferocity (Your Pretty Face, Noone Knows You're a Dog), voodoobilly (The Grave, Flagpole Hill) and the blues (I Think It's Going To Rain, Planet Earth), it is still a muscular and robust work. (The CD reissue includes the EP We Desist, covers and rarities).

Up All Night (Au-Go_Go, 1995) added the demented beach instrumental Bahia and a passionate Here I Am.

Dan Kroha, on the other hand, formed Demolition Doll Rods.

Mick Collins then formed the King Sound Quartet (with Tim Kerr on guitar, formerly of Big Boys, Poison 13 and Lord High Fixers, Alex Cuervo on bass and Stephanie Friedman on drums) that released The Getdown Imperative (In The Red, 1998), a kaleidoscopic meltdown of Merseybeat, soul, rhythm and blues, garage-rock, punk-rock and even free-jazz (a 20-minute version of Sun Ra's Space Is The Place). At least I Wouldn't Put It Past You and White Streak are worthy of the Gories' best material.

Kroha and Collins joined forces again when they decided to back Andre Williams, a 61-year old Detroit rhythm and blues shouter, on his album Silky (In The Red, 1998), a fantastic concept of x-rated stories (Cramps fans would adore them) underlined by the dirtiest, grossest, meaniest garage sound since the early Gories (Pussy Stank, Bring Me Back My Car Unstripped).
Collins is joined by Jon Spencer and many others for Andre Williams' The Black Godfather (In The Red, 2000), a far inferior work.

In the meantime, Collins had joined the Screws with fellow guitarist and singer Terri "Angel" Wahl of the Red Aunts. The Screws released Presents 12 New Hate-Filled Classics (In The Red, 1999). Collins also formed the Dirtbombs (two basses, two drummers), whose first album was Horndog Fest (In The Red, 1998) and contained the anthemic Vixens In Space, the furious Armageddon Double Feature and the harrowing My Heart Burns With Deeps of Lurve. The Dirtbombs also cut a bunch of singles: High Octane Salvation (Sympathy, 1996), All Geeked Up (In The Red, 1997), Tina Louise (Flying Bomb, 1998), Maybe Your Baby (High Maintenance, 1998), Stuck Under My Shoe (Some Assembly Required, 1998), Headlights On (Solid Sex Lovie Doll Records, 2000). The Dirtbombs' second album, Ultraglide In Black (In The Red, 2001), was merely a tribute to classics of rhythm and blues.

The Dirtbombs' mediocre mini-album Chariots Of The Gods (Augogo, 2002) displayed their irresistible live appeal but little creativity. Their third album, Dangerous Magical Noise (In The Red, 2003), was their most accessible yet, influenced by soul and funk (Get It While You Can, Don't Break My Heart). If their impersonation of Wilson Pickett is not terribly original, the few moments when they unleash their MC5 genes are still intimidating (Start The Party, Thunder In The Sky, Motor City Baby). And Collins' lascivious wit was still untamed (Get It While You Can, 21st Century Fox, I'm Through With White Girls). The Dirtbombs' fourth album, the 52-song double CD If You Already Have A Look (In The Red, 2005), compiled the avalanche of rarities that they had released on various media. The first CD contains the singles (including evil masterworks such as The Sharpest Claws, Here Comes That Sound Again, Scratching Post, Little Miss Chocolate Syrup, Never Licking You Again), while the second CD contains a boatload of covers. The Dirtbombs' We Have You Surrounded (In The Red, 2008) should have been only an EP, as it contains only one memorable ditty (Ever Lovin Man) surrounded by silly covers and eventually hijacked by the eight-minute cacophonous orgy Race to the Bottom. The first three albums made sense (an original garage-rock fest, a cover-based tribute to rhythm'n'blues, a poppy divertissment). The next two were bad jokes. Party Store (2011) was an odd tribute to the techno masters of Detroit.

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