ricky rat - The I-94 Bar

A French kiss that will smear your lipstick

sentinentSentinent – Other-ed (Self released)

This instantly classic CD comes from France in a gorgeous pink minimalist gatefold sleeve with a photo of a black bat-winged androgyne on the cover shades of Specimen, Bauhaus, March Violets,early Cureand Joy Division/New Order.

Genius vocalist/songwriter/musician/fashionplate, Laurent Chopard, is predominantly famous all over the world for being the long-time editor of Veglam, home of the subversive international glam rock-glitter-sleaze and trash punk underground. If you loved ‘80s Goth and new wave, post punk, and dangerous synth-pop as much as I do, this brilliant collection of radical protest songs sung in an echoing, sexy baritone, an updated version of, you know, Sisters Of Mercy, Mission, Depeche Mode, Tubeway Army, Japan, OMD, Blancmange…you get the picture.

Go you good thing

she feels like a good thingShe Feels Like a Good Thing – Ricky Rat (I-94 Recordings)

Some of you might know Ricky Rat from his many various recorded collaborations and world tours with such rocknroll all-stars as Texas Terri, Kevin K, Bootsey X & The Lovemasters, or even the post-Stiv Dead Boys, but to many of us midwestern punk rockers, he'll always be fondly revered for his trailblazing Detroit glam gang, Trash Brats, who really helped to co-author the ‘80s punk-roll underground scene.

Trash Brats shows were special events when all the diverse rock ‘n’ roll tribes came outta the closet to rub shoulders and get wasted to their joyful, exuberant, power pop mayhem and merriment. All the spiky haired rocker kids knew the words back then. They filled that room with bedlam and we all sang along.

Kevin K and Ricky Rat bring the wham-bam-thank-you, glam

identity crisisIdentity Crisis b/w Song For Lulu –Kevin K & Ricky Rat (Vicious Kitten)

If you had to ask: Kevin K is an indefatigable product of the halcyon New York underground rock and roll scene and one of a handful of the CBGB crew still standing and delivering. Ricky Rat co-founded Detroit’s Trash Brats, larger-than-life dealers of flash glam, and more recently a member of the Cheetah Chrome and Johnny Blitz-led, reconstituted Dead Boys.  The pair spawned an album, “Party Store”, in 2020 and this single features two of its songs.

You shouldn’t be surprised that it rocks or that it’s on Vicious Kitten, the Aussie label that grew from the zine of the same name that variously championed Kevin K, his previous band the Road Vultures and the Trash Brats. The zine lives on in The Australian Rock Show podcast, by the way, and the record imprint has been revived after a 15-year hiatus to issue this seven-inch.  

Summoning rock and roll's spirit

ricky rat ghosts cvrGhosts of Isolation – Ricky Rat (I-94 Recordings)

First song bangs straight into a Ricky Rat signature, garagey, Romanticsor Plimsouls-style powerpop song, with an ‘80s feel. If you are hip to Ricky's discography, this is his thing, exactly.

"We're still shining, we're still shining" he croons. I suspect it was most likely written during the COVID clampdown, to try to rouse his old cohorts outta those dark and depressing pandemic blues. 

"Glow Of Gabriels" reminded me instantly of "Child Of The Moon". Again, this is pretty much, your quintessential Ricky Rat. A Rolling Stones-influenced song with Nicky Hopkins type piano courtesy of Jimmy Bones and a Bobby Keyes style horn solo. They really put some ace production on to this one. Jimmy Bones, the dude who's tickling the ivories does a real good job.

I-94 Bar