MIGHTY IONS- FACE RAKIN´ROCK LP
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SMASHIN TRANSISTORS (USA) NOV 2003 Unless you count the Novas "The Crusher" I would have to say that in 1980 Boston's MIGHTY IONS (featuring former members of GG Allin's band and Unnatural Axe) invented the genre of "Rasslin' Rock." They had plenty songs about wrestling and it's (east coast) stars of the time. The rest of their songs were about chatty girls, getting drunk, going crazy, throwing rocks at cops, working hard for a joke of a paycheck all done up in a DICTATORS loving way. The band had a huge following, recorded a bunch of stuff but due to their "record company" guy geting busted for bootlegging none of it was ever released til now. Since this is on ALIEN SNATCH!you know it's got some cool packaging. Super thick solid blue vinyl and a 24 page booklet all add to the dumb lug good time. (DM)
ALPHA MONIC#2 (ITALY) 2003 Say Somethin’ Stupid! is the first song here, it’s like the Undertones mixed with the Ramones, dig it? It’s a good start, that’s for sure, and the whole record, consisting of 15 - most of which previously unreleased - tracks, keeps up to the standard! The MIGHTY IONS, huge fans of wrestling as their songs can tell, were from Boston and featured the lead guitarist of UNNATURAL AXE and the rhythm section of GG ALLIN’s first album. They had a short life (1980-1982) and no real success. Their only hit, Pedro Morales, was sung on the tune of the DEAD KENNEDYS’ California Uber Alles! Luckily they got back together at the end of the 90’s to re-record their “hits” so that an album could be finally issued. I had never heard of them but this elpee shines, it’s so catchy, from the first to the last groove! Check out the 24-page booklet included for your reading pleasure! This record made me fall back in love with punkrock, it’s simply beautiful! (Johnny)
RAZORCAKE #11 (USA) NOVEMBER 2002 As you may not know nor care, before the cable-abetted globalization of pro wrestling really took hold in the mid '80s, rasslin' was a regionalized phenomenon: The Northeast had the WWF, the Upper Midwest and Rockies had the AWA, the NWA was in the south, and whatever federation was in place where you lived, that was who ya saw on TV and at the matches. I mention that only because MIGHTY IONS, The, were a wrasslin'-themed band who ran the squared circle o' rawk with an iron fist from '80-'82, which would be great, except, being as how they're from Boston and all, they're WWF guys, and i'm an AWA guy. This means that they're all Pedro Morales and Greg Valentine and Freddie Blassie and the Grand Wizard and Bob Backlund and the annoying legacy of Bruno Sammartino and the night Jimmy Snuka missed the headbutt from the top of the cage at Madison Square Garden, and i'm all Crusher and Baron Von Raschke and Mad Dog Vachon and Bobby Heenan and Nick Bockwinkel and the annoying legacy of Verne Gagne and the night they smashed "Rock 'n' Roll" Buck Zumhoff's boombox. Therefore, even though this band is roughly from the period when my interest in rasslin' was at its friggin' zenith (in case you're wondering, yes, breathe easy, i agree that wrestling fucking BLOWS these days and i haven't been to anything other than a local card where one of my friends was involved in ten years), we actually have very little in common; further, as an AWA guy, i don't even know if i should be rooting for a band composed of WWF fans. I mean, fuck, they stole Hogan from us, they stole Jesse Ventura from us, they even stole fucking Gene Okerlund from us! Fuck you, MIGHTY IONS! Enjoy the world you've created! ...unfortunately, songs like "Say Somethin' Stupid" are so brilliant even in a non-wrestling context that i have no choice but to submit to this veritable Boston Crab o' Rock and wonder why there are no submission holds named after my own municipality... (i can also assure the wrestling non-enthusiast that this record holds up as well outside the squared circle as it does on the mat, with the melodic/somewhat tinny punk sound that was Boston's trademark back then fitting in seamlessly next to your La Peste and Unnatural Axe [who, in fact, begat at least one Ion] reissues and reminding you that, like it or not, Boston emitted the best bands, pound-for-pound, for a good stretch of time back in The Day™). Let the record also show that their reworking of "California über Alles" as "Pedro Morales" is sheerest genius. The Grand Wizard taught them well! BEST SONG TITLE: "Say Somethin' Stupid" BEST SONG: "Say Somethin' Stupid" or "Don't Talk to Me" FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: The MIGHTY IONS were formed as GG Allin's backing band back in 1980, and wrote "Don't Talk to Me," which is the best song on GG's first album (this is the SECOND review where i've mentioned that album in this issue; one wouldn't think the damn thing would turn out to be such a friggin' cultural touchstone). Also, "George 'The Animal' Steele" is both misspelled and mis-quotation-marked on the back cover, and the apostrophe on "Somethin'" points the wrong way..(Rev. Nørb)
CARBON14 #22 (USA) NOVEMBER 2002 A wrestling/rock outfit dating back to the dawn of the 80`s in Boston. One of these guys played with UNNATURAL AXE and a couple of them backed G.G. before he(to quote the insert) "went off the deep end" and pulled a no-show on them. The strongest tunes on this LP are the wrestling songs, which happen to include one of the absolute all time great wrestling/rock songs EVER: "Pedro Morales", which lampoons one of the old WWWF`s most boring baby faces to the tune of the Dead Kennedy`s "California Über Alles". The slow part of the song is suitable ominous; it declares that the Grand Wizzard has whacked Vince and taken over the WWWF and all the faces are dead too, including Pedro (sprawled out dead with a foreign object still sticking out of his head). This album is worth it JUST FOR THAT SONG. But, happily "Big Noise", "We Want The Belts" and a loving tribute to "George The Animal Steel" are great too. A few of their earliest songs are poorly produced with the guitar beeing buried beneath the drum kit but i`m not gonna nit-pick. It was hard as hell for bands to even scrape up the dough to deal with some jackas at the studio back i the day. These guys aren`t quite as flamboyant as the good ol`NAKED LADY WRESTLERS and the CLEAVERS, who both specialized in wretsling rock shtick back then, but they come damn close. Maybe they need to add a big fat guy or two to the lineup,hmmm?? Maybe they shoulda put in a call to the Cosmic Commander of Wrestling to take them to the final level? Yep...i gotta grade em down to an A-. Sorry fellas.(thee Whiskey Rebel)
SAVAGE MAGAZINE (SWEDEN) DECEMBER 2002 This is cool. These guys used to play in Boston in the early 80’s. Some of ‘em were in GG Allin’s first band right before they started the MIGHTY IONS. They were totally into professional wrestling so you get a lot of songs about wrestlers which, if you’re into that is fuckin’ cool. Most of the songs where recorded way back when but some were recorded in 2000. the weird thing is you don’t notice any difference at all! Imagine a mix of the GIZMOS and the DICTATORS and you get a good idea of what they sound like. My favorite song is their remake of DEAD KENNEDYS “California Über Alles” about the wrestler Pedro Morales. Great stuff! (MS)
BLANK GENERATION (USA) NOV 2002 When I think of wrestling these days, I get depressed. It fucking sucks. I mean, all this “EXXXTREME” shit is sooooo fucking lame. It’s not wrestling. It’s not Rick Rude fucking other wrestler’s wives. It’s not Randy Savage spiking the ring bell into Ricky Steamboat. It’s not Road Warrior Animal beating the shit out of Larry The Ax. And all the fucking Von Erichs are dead! C’mon!!!!!! Anyway, these MIGHTY IONS dig wrestling. REAL wrestling. The MIGHTY IONS were a New England punk band from the 80s, made up of familiar faces from Unnatural Axe and various incarnations of G.G. Allin’s bands (all-time great “Don’t Talk To Me” is present here, and was written by an Ions member). It’s a pretty fucking fun record. And the tunes? This is some straight up Boston, Real Kids/DMZ Bomp-sounding power pop/punk. All the tunes are good…but there’s one that definitely takes the cake. They have a tune called “Pedro Morales”, which is probably the single coolest fucking song I’ve ever heard about wrestling (and I own “The Wrestling Album“, “Piledriver“ and Freddie Blassie‘s “King Of Men” 10“EP…on red vinyl…not a lie). Not only did they pick a fantastic star of the squared-circle to immortalize, they did it in an absolutely perfect way: by sending up “California Uber Alles” (I’m sure you can imagine what the chorus sounds like…pure genius). Seriously, probably the best wrestling meets Rock’N’Roll moment since Handsome Dick’s rant on “Go Girl Crazy!”. Give ‘em the belts!.(MC)
SHREDDING PAPER#14 (USA) SEPTEMBER 2002 I had to do a little research on these guys, and discovered that they were from Boston, around the dawn of the 1980´s, and include members GG Allin´s Band and others. The songs were never released at the time from I can tell, but ALIEN SNATCH! out of Germany has gotten hold of them and put them out on some nifty clear Mountan Dew clear vinyl. They definately had the wrestling fetish, there are couple of short verbal barragesfrom pro-wrestlers mixed in, a song about George "The Animal" Steele, and other references to WWF superstars of the time when Cyndi Lauper was making a name for herself. The music is simple punk rock ala RAMONES or the DICTATORS, some have the melody of the best power pop bands of the day, others have a rowdy attitude, and they´re all great, and more than occasionally funny. My favorite is "Pedro Morales" which takes the chorus of the DEAD KENNEDYS "California uber alles" I guess it was just too much of a side project for most involved, which too much shtick to make a go of it, but at least the songs survived and are out now for everybody´s enjoyment(Steve)
HIGH HEELS SLUTS (BELGIUM) SEPTEMBER 2002 Straight from the secret vaults of Boston comes this album, dating back to the very early 80's. Some members had been involved in bands as the Jabbers and UNNATURAL AXE (remember "They Saved Hitlers Brain"?!), but with the MIGHTY IONSthey took it more from the mid-tempo garage punk angle. Cool bopping R'n'R in the same way as their contemporaries the UNDERTONES, DMZ or the RAMONES on their debut studio albums and it's the same sound that later was a huge inspiration to bands like DEVIL DOGS or GIRL TROUBLE. I'm sure you'll swing your hips to this one. And don't forget to lend a close ear to "Pedro Morales", which appears to be a hilarious cover of the Dead Kennedys' classic "California Uber Alles"! Glad this stuff resurfaced!!(wim)
UP YOURS (BELGIUM) SEPTEMBER 2002 A similar REAL KIDS induced and inspired combo are THE MIGHTY IONS, who used to be around in the early 80s in the Boston region. The MIGHTY IONS had both members who used to be in UNNATURAL AXE (KilledByDeath material) and who had teamed up with GG Allin in his early days in their original line-up. In their two years excistence enough material was recorded, but except for their own specifiec adaptation of 'California über Alles' here renamed 'Pedro Morales' nothing ever came to be actually released. Until a release was collected by some of the reformed bandmembers out of their collection of tapes and some freshly recorded stuff from July '99. Thsi is the LP "Face Rakin' Rock" which got put on a thick vinyl edition by AlienSnatch Records. And it damn well shows the high, energetic, bouncing and boppin' mixture of quirky punkriffs and hooks on a plain, straight diet of powerpop R'n'Roll. This reminds me of a genuine cocktail of The FLESHTONES, The REAL KIDS, the CUSTOMS, The NERVOUS EATERS and TEENAGE HEAD. It's sparkling, it shakes, rattles and excites in full blossom. Hail, hail punk'n'roll. I fuckin' love this "Face Rakin' Rock". (Bowy)
NOW WAVE MAGAZINE (USA) SEPTEMBER 2002 Alien Snatch Records has dug some obscure-but-terrific early 80’s punk/rock n’ roll tune-age out of the dustbin of history, unleashing a kick-ass posthumous collection of tough, hooky gems from the MIGHTY IONS, a wrestling-loving Beantown outfit that featured ex-members of UNNATURAL AXE and The JABBERS. Cut way back circa 1981-82, these fun, catchy mid-tempo songs rock hard and come replete with that raw, buzzing classic 70’s/80’s Boston punk rock n’ roll guitar sound. Musically and lyrically, these guys were like the missing link between the DICTATORS and UNDERTONES---and their pro wrestling fixations recall the glory days of the sport (before wrasslin’ went Hollywood and forsook its back-alley grit!). Moreover, great songs like “One of Those Girls” and “Say Somethin’ Stupid” have held up nicely against the test of time--so you KILLED BY DEATH collector types will have something to sink your rotting teeth into! All in all, FACE RAKIN' ROCK is very much worth checking out if you’re an underground rock historian or simply a fan of melodic garage punk. (Josh Rutlegde)
BLANK GENERATION (USA) JULY 2002 All the way from 1980! Like a time capsule! Explode the MIGHTY IONS ! Ex-UNNATURAL AXE…The Kill by Death kids will have a field day! It’ll be THEIR day! The MIGHTY IONS are punk fuckin’ rock band with an early QUEERS feel and a mix of UNNATURAL AXE/70’s punk rock tuneage. Like I said, if you like Killed by Death punk you’ll want to know all about the MIGHTY IONS. Plus ALIEN SNATCH! (as always) did a fan-fuckin-tastic job on the pressing with neon yellow vinyl and a handy little booklet about the MIGHTY IONS. Get!! (JD)
BOSTON GLOBE (USA) 2002 Do the now-defunct local club Cantone's, Inn Square Men's Bar, and Streets mean anything to you? How about wrestlers Pedro Morales, George (the Animal) Steele, and Lou Albano? The nexus of these disparate memories can only be the MIGHTY IONS, a brash punk/pop group that plowed through the Boston rock scene in the early '80s. In those glory days, the city was awash in clubs and live music. Before wrestling was multimillion-dollar business, before pop culture was drenched in Seinfeldian irony, the Ions saluted their mat heroes with high-energy punk anthems that still resonate and entertain. Led by guitarist Tommy White and bassist Carl Twomey, the MIGHTY IONS' live gigs crackled with energy. Band members bounced off each other - and sometimes the audience - like crazed pinballs. "Face Rakin Rock" is an audio snapshot of a time in Boston history that captures that spirit. Complete with radio appearances, live tunes, and studio work, it's one of those special discs for those who were there and those who wished they were (JC)
FLIGHT13 (GERMANY) JULY 2002 Auch der gute Daniel hat in die History-Kiste gegriffenen und uns was ganz Besonderes rausgezogen, nämlich die Bostoner MIGHTY IONS (Members spielten in der legendären ersten GG ALLIN & JABBERS Besetzung!). Musikalisch eine zündende Mischung aus DICTATORS, UNDERTONES und späten ANGRY SAMOANS. Alle 15 Songs (Sound ist super!) sind von ´81/´82 und bis auf "Pedro morales" (erschien damals auf der "claws" Compilation) erstmalig auf Vinyl erhältlich. Inkl. 24-page Booklet mit Fotos, Zeitungsartikeln, ... Killer!
PLASTIC BOMB (GERMANY) SEPTEMBER 2002 Unglaublich ! Mitglieder dieser Band haben bereits 1980 mit GG Allin zusammengespielt. Also in seiner sehr geilen Punkphase bevor er das Scumpunk Animal Nr.1 wurde. Das hört man heute noch in manchen Stücken raus. Schöner, teilsweiser ruhiger Punkrock mit Schlichtheit der langsameren ANGY SAMOAN aus der "STP not LSD"-Phase. Ständiger Wegbegleiter ist ein tendenziell melancholischer Gefühl. Die Band ist auf der Suche nach dem perfekten minimalistischen 77er-Punkrock song, "California über alles" von den DEAD KENNEDYS wird hier in "Pedro Morales" umgeschrieben. Eine grandiose Platte mit sehr authentischen 77er Feeling. Klasse !
FLYING REVOLVERBLATT #23 (GERMANY) OKTOBER 2002 : Hiermit gibt es erstmals historisches Material auf ALIEN SNATCH! zu hören, und zwar aus dem Früh-Achtziger Boston Punk. Damals, 1981-1982 fand sich diese Band zusammen, die schin in Bands wie UNNATURAL AXE und den JABBERS (GG ALLINS erster Begleitband) gespielt haben. Obwohl sie damals einige Sachen für eine kommende LP aufnahmen, erblickte bis auf einen Song (" Pedro Morales") nie ein MIGHTY IONS Titel offiziell das Licht der Welt. Die IONS waren grosse wrestling freaks, dennoch kann man den DICTATORS nicht unbedingt ziehen, dazu waren sie viel zu poppig und nicht ganz so grosskotzig, weshalb hier schon eher die REAL KIDS herhalten müssen. Grundsätzlich hat so eine Ausgrabung absolute Berechtigung, die Songs und die Qualität können sich sehen lassen, und daher sei die Platte Fans des frühen Ami-Punk absolut empfohlen. Im beiliegenden Heft kann man zudem sich auch noch weiter informieren.
GREEN HELL(GERMANY) JULY 2002 Boston Punk Ausgrabung von 1981 bzw. 1982, die jetzt zum ersten Mal überhaupt veröffentlicht wird! Hinter den MIGHTY IONS verstecken sich Mitglieder von UNNATURAL AXE, den LYRES und von GG ALLIN´s allererster Begleitband The JABBERS und erstaunlicherweise hat sich vorher nie jemand um diese Aufnhamen gekümmert. Dabei verbinden die 15 Songs perfekt den größenwahnsinnigen Wrestling Rock der DICTATORS mit dem poppigen Rock'n'Roll Charme der REAL KIDS und mehr als ein mal fühlt man sich auch direkt an JABBERS Hits wie "Don't talk to me" oder "Gimme some head" erinnert. Klasse Fundstück und ausdrücklich jedem empfohlen, der sich für Anfang 80er Beantown Bands interessiert!!"
JENZ BUMPER PRIVATE DIARY LINERNOTES #1 (GERMANY) 2002 Wrestling und Rock`n Roll sind eine gute Kombination wie schon die DICTATORS und die ANGRY SAMOANS (die hatten auch mal so einen Wrestling Typen mit Leoparden Fell dabei) bewiesen haben. Haut mich echt um, wie locker die Band abrockt mit dem typischen Boston-Feeling und dazu spielt der Gitarrist auch noch die selbe Gitarre wie ich. Meine Hits sind "Working Stiff" (erinnert mich an die ZEROS) und "George the Animal Steel"
BLOW UP #54 (Italy) OCT2002 Retrospettiva dedicata a questa misconosciuta punk band dell'area di Boston in attività fra il 1980 e il 1982 la cui unica testimonianza su vinile era contenuta nella compilation Claws della Throbbing Lobster. La loro "carriera" si intersecava con quella dei grandissimi Unnatural Axe e con quella del primissimo GG Allin (artefice di un 1°LP-capolavoro, quando ancora non aveva la voce animalesca e gli attacchi di diarrea sul palco...). Ottima band a sentire da questo LP, fra il punk/rock e il power-pop, isipirato e ben eseguito. Da riscoprire.(Pierluigi/Hate Rec.)
Dig It ! (France) # 26 SEP 2002 The MIGHTY IONS ont vu le jour à Boston, durant l'été 1980, lorsque deux membres des Jabbers, le gang de GG Allin, se sont acoquinés avec le lead guitariste des Unnatural Axe (auteurs de l'inénarrable "They Saved Hitler's Brain"). Malgré ce pédigree prometteur, ils ne sortiront qu'un unique morceau sur une compilation, "Pedro Morales", adaptation osée de "California Uber Alles" des Dead Kennedys. Ils splittent en 82 et sombrent dans l'oubli, jusqu'en 99, lorsqu'on leur propose de fouiller dans leurs archives pour monter un CD compil du groupe. Du coup ils se reforment et réenregistrent huit de leurs vieux titres. L'album Face Rakin' Rock rassemble ces bandes récentes et quelques vieilleries. On s'attendait à du punk saignant d'autant que nos gaziers sont des fans de catch convaincus. En fait c'est plutôt mélodique et bien foutu, quelque part entre les Ramones, les Zeros et les Real Kids. Avec bien sûr quelques monologues de catcheurs fous et des hymnes à la manchette qui tue comme "George The Animal Steele" ou "We Want The Belts". Une tranche oubliée du punk US à redécouvrir d'urgence(sylvain)