Cheetah Chrome

Alive in Detroit

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Alive in Detroit Review

by Joe Viglione

"Not one of Cheetah's friends were harmed or killed during the recording of this CD!" proclaim the liner notes, and it is pure punk rock from the guitarist who rocked the Dead Boys to mega infamy, Cheetah Chrome. This is real underground music, a few notches above a bootleg recording, raw power that comes out of the speakers from a band with great New York Dolls-style chops. Chrome's voice is deep and dark; if he and Henry Rollins had a poetry slam on the radio, it might blow out the woofers, but that just-swallowed-Draino vocal effect is perfect for a song like the five and a half minute "Nothing." Recorded live in Detroit, there's total authenticity when "The One That Got Away" kicks in. It is as feisty and grooving as Sylvain Sylvain's magic, and that's a high compliment indeed. This isn't the Dead Boys. In fact, they never played as tight as the fellows on this recording. Cheetah Chrome has released a surprising disc of six previously unreleased titles: material from the legendary Midwest band Rocket From the Tombs and Dead Boys titles like "Caught With the Meat in Your Mouth"; "Ain't Nothin' to Do"; and a live version of the 45 RPM that producer Genya Ravan helped Cheetah's former band unleash on the world, the classic punk song "Sonic Reducer." Alive in Detroit is more than the chronicle of a surviving punk rock guitarist. It crackles with solid rock music that the kids in 2000 and 2001 were trying to produce and just couldn't get right. This is the real thing, and it's explosive and impressive.

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