The Kings of Nuthin’ – Old Habits Die Hard

© 2010 Sailor’s Grave Records

Rating: ★★★★☆

New releases from some bands are like Christmas, immediately after the preceding one you get super excited for the next. The Kings of Nuthin’ are like that for me. I’ve been looking forward to Old Habits Die Hard since before I even knew it was coming out.

The disc doesn’t fail to impress either. The now familiar sounds of booze infused 50s rock and roll hybrid with punk guts and speed and vocals like a Dicky Barrett and Tom Waits shouting match are all intact. This time around you get to enjoy 18 new tracks and revel in the level of depth that The Kings of Nuthin’ have developed over the last several years.

Funny thing is, as much as I enjoy this disc, it wasn’t immediate. Maybe it was environment or situation or my mood at the time, but I wasn’t immediately taken. Some of the more, for lack of a better term right now, “doo-wop” moments threw me. The duet seemed wrong and out of place. Then again, I tend to be the type of person that likes sophomore efforts; the kind of releases that are the gangly and often awkward ones in a bands career.

Successive listens, however, convinced me that Old Habits Die Hard has a lot more going on musically than I initially gave it credit for. The songs are tighter now and a bit more complex. Time signatures swerve and careen but magically remain upright. Instruments weave in and out and always fall back in line. The duet really has some charm … I’m still not sure about the “doo-wop”

I think though, the overarching reason why I like this release and this band is that beyond the rockin’ they craft songs that I can relate to. At some point I can’t tell if the tracks are about someone I know, someone we all know or if they, in some strange twist of fate, started writing songs about me. I don’t know about you, but that makes me feel pretty damn connected to the music.

Cheers!

–Jerry

Bad Luck Charms – ST

(c) 2008 I Scream Records
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Ok, here’s how it is. Sometimes things rock. Sometimes things also roll. And some other times things both rock and roll and summarily kick ass! Bad Luck Charms new self-titled release falls under that summarily kick ass category. Not to be confused with the Hobart, Tasmania band of the same moniker, Bad Luck Charms, the Brooklyn variety are punked up rock with a street brawler type of vibe not unlike The Disasters, Mike Ness or many of the Duane Peters derived bands. The new relase contains 11 tracks of heart and guts drenched with sorrow and regret. Bad Luck Charms have an undeniable appeal in that when wallowing in their bad times, your situation doesn’t seem half so bad. (plus they really do rock) So do yourself a favor and book a trip to Tasmania to tell those other guys to change their names and while your there, pick up a copy of the American Bad Luck Charms new release and listen to it the whole trip back. Go for the guts. Stay for the glory! Let’s have a round of applause (read drinks) for Bad Luck Charms.

–Jerry Actually