Joey Pinter - Joey Pinter (self released)
There are few survivors from when New York City’s rock and roll world revolved around a few seedy nightspots in a now unrecognisably gentrified district called The Lower East Side who are still musically active. Joey Pinter is one of them, making spirited, raw guitar music on their own terms, and this is his debut solo album.
Transplanted to Los Angeles and now living in Chicago, Pinter is best known as Walter Lure’s guitar foil in his killer post-Heartbreakers outfit, The Waldos. These guys should have been huge but labels kept their distance and Walter had a career in stockbroking that clipped their touring wings. Their solitary album, "Rent Party", was recently re-issued and kicks arse.
Pinter played in a host of other NYC bands, most notably with Max’s Kansas City regulars The Knots whose solitary 45 “Heartbreaker” b/w “Action” is highly collectable. So he has lots of form.
If you’re looking for spit and polish you’ve come to the wrong place: ”Joey Pinter” is raucous and untempered and the songs littered with sharp-edged riffs. Just what you’d expect from a veteran of the CBGB versus Max’s wars.
Pinter’s never going to be invited to sign-on with the Vienna Boys Choir and his croaky Queens drawl would give Cheetah Chrome a run for his money in the paint stripper gargling stakes. The songs are often kiss-offs about butting heads with a significant other - the sonic equivalent of throwing their clothes out the eight storey tenement window and onto Avenue B after a bitter bust-up. Nobody does angry like a New Yorker and Pinter’s guitar does a lot of talking here.
Joey’s unashamedly a graduate of the Thunders school - he shared stages with the guy and even copped lessons from him. When it came time to call someone to play in a home town tribute to the late JT, Pinter is the man they called. Johnny’s ghost is all over these songs in the tone and sustain, along with lashings of Stones and classic blues licks and a big dash of glam.
There's plenty to revel in. Caustic guitar scorches the raunchy putdown "Came To Dance" while "Blood" bristles with relentless stabs of Thundersesque attitude. Pinter's guitar is at its most lyrical on "Old", a telling call-out to a woman whose name stays unknown.
"Sad Girl" pushes Joey's vocal to the far reaches of its range and the fiery overdriven guitarwork is similarly searing and out on the edge. The Stonesy blues lament "Favorite Child" and the shimmering "Orient Door" detour into delicacy and show Pinter's no one-trick guitar pony. "Written Down" shifts gear to ride a bubbling synth line that's subsumed by the bass and double tracked vocal to be one of the best songs here.
The production verges on homespun but the playing and most of the songs overcome any shortcomings. If somebody wants to put Joey and band into an expensive studio with Bob Clearmountain we can put you in touch. Just as long as Bob doesn't polish the music too much. This stuff needs to be served raw.
Joey poured a lot of himself into “Joey Pinter” - it’s 17 tracks long and could have stood up as an album and spun-off an EP - and there are no pretensions. The rough edges make it all the more endearing. "Joey Pinter" is being released in August and should be available from the man's website or through Facebook. Recommended for fans of Real Rock and Roll.