i-94 recordings - The I-94 Bar
Trash Brats – Trash Bats (I-94 Recordings)
Summa you cool kids might remember I-94 Records out of Detroit (as opposed to I-94 Bar Recordsout of Sydney, Australia) as the dead savvy tastemakers behind those vital and volatile “Drunk On Rock” compilations. The label introduced loads of underground punk-roll bands, as well as essential full-length releases by Cranford Nix Jr. and the Malakas, the Trash Brats and B-Movie Rats. They are back with the highly influential debut of the Trash Brats first album, previously only available on cassette. In the 80's.
Trash Brats were the most important punk band in the Midwest - part NY Dolls, part Candy, part Teenage Head,poppy, melodic, fun, with notoriously crazy shows known for big energy and wild abandon. Appealing to fans of Sloppy Seconds, Hanoi Rocks, the Dickies, and the Ramones, a Trash Brats concert was where small-town kids travelled to shake ‘n’ shimmy, to get fucked up and jump up and down, try out all their kookiest Alien Sex Fiend and Bat Cave makeup, and to meet all your favorite, lifelong, goth girl pen pals.
She 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.
Hamtramck Jukebox – Brian McCarty & The Jen-U-Wine Faux Diamond Band (I-94 Recordings)
Number-one on the charts in my bruised old heart! This is an instant classic from Detroit's favorite glam ‘n’ punk frontman, the legendary, Brian McCarty from the mighty Motor City’s Trash Brats. I've only heard the song maybe four times so far, but it's already just so deeply familiar to me, it kinda feels like I've always been listening to it, most all my life.It's just like an old Hanoi Rocksor New York Dolls song you love, it has that same feel.
I suppose you could say I lived through a little bit of it. First time I met that wascally wabbit, Brian O'Blivion, he was memorably wearing a naughty nurse outfit, and way too much Rocky Horror makeup, when that was not a common sight in Indiana Holiday Inn bars. They tore the bar up like Iggy and the Stooges - it was very inspiring and empowering to watch those guys just get down.
Drinking With Some Angels – Cranford Nix Junior (I-94 Recordings)
As soon as I saw the beautiful album cover, my first thought was, how lovely it is, that Cranford Nix Junior's grown kids can look at all this stuff - the albums and heartfelt tributes and fanatical cult followers – appreciate the sentimental testimony of old friends and collaborators and understand how loved and talented their dad was.
Cranford Nix Junior was the charismatic, charmed life, bon vivant, hard-drinking, fringe dwelling, abyss mocking, gone-too-soon, the son of a famous Nashville studio musician. An Americana type songwriter, he was a little bit country, little bit glammy punk ‘n’ roll, like somewhere between Pat Todd and Tyla from Dogs D'Amour, with maybe a little Waylon Jennings, and Paul Westerberg thrown in.
Ghosts 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.