Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Shooting Gallery

It’s 1992. Andy McCoy has just plundered the Kill City Dragons and put together a new band featuring their vocalist Billy G Bang and bassist Dave Tregunna (also noteworthy of course for his stints in Sham 69 and the Lords Of The New Church, as well as the pre-Lords outfit The Wanderers, his previous work with McCoy in the Cherrybombz and his contributions on the Dogs D’Amour’s ‘Unauthorised Bootleg Album’), along with Psychedelic Furs’ drummer Paul Garisto. For their live line-up the band, christened Shooting Gallery, will add Jo ‘Dog’ Almeida.

Gotta be good, surely?

To be fair the resulting album started off okay with ‘Restless’ and ‘Teenage Breakdown’ before hitting a wall with ‘Don’t Never Leave Me’ and ‘House of Ecstasy’. Sound familiar? Yes it’s that ‘Don’t Never Leave Me’, of which at least six recordings by Hanoi Rocks exist, the definitive one surely being the version on ‘All Those Wasted Years, and that ‘House of Ecstasy’ by the Cherrybombz. A glance further down the track listing and you get ‘Devil Calling’, hardly a classic but nevertheless recorded twice by the Kill City Dragons and, having been co-written by Nasty Suicide, also formed part of Cheap and Nasty’s set and made an appearance as a live b-side).

Housed between these needless trips down memory lane are three of the album’s weakest tracks, plus a decent enough cover of Van Morrison’s ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ (nb: I was not familiar with the original when I first heard this album and would probably have been far less accepting of the Shooting Gallery version if I had). Surprisingly the album finishes on a bit of a high with ‘Leave Me Alone’ and ‘Dandelion’, but the general laziness that went into the album left me with a pretty foul taste in my mouth (and I never wore lipstick so it wasn’t that).

What I will see in its defence is that it’s a damn sight better than the Michael Monroe / Steve Stevens collaboration, Jerusalem Slim....


Michael said...

I discovered this album only a few years ago, and was greatly anticipating it. But I was grievously disappointed to find out that Jo-Dog's involvement was only onstage, and man, the songwriting was weak (as you note). One of the greatest examples of unfulfilled potential in the 90s.

The Fisher King said...

To be honest with that line up they should have been as much of a sleaze supergroup as The Lords.... were, but as you say it just felt like they hadn't bothered to write many decent songs, shame but just another example of wasted potential and part of their lack of drive maybe reflected in the bands moniker.