Essential New Music: Dead Boys’ “Still Snotty: Young Loud And Snotty At 40”

1973 American punk rock was either the Rolling Stones in hell (Iggy And The Stooges circa Raw Power) or in a lower gutter than they inhabited (New York Dolls). Cleveland’s Dead Boys combined both approaches, leaned more toward the Stooges, then spliced in slapstick humor and the more stripped-down variant of American hard rock. For hell-raising guitarist Cheetah Chrome to reteam with drummer Johnny Blitz and some ringers to recut their classic Sire debut, including a singer from a Dead Boys tribute act standing in for the iconic Stiv Bators, may seem at first like the Sex Pistols touring with Gary Oldman on bass. But Still Snotty, while not a replacement for the original, works remarkably well if you consider the 1977 LP was intended as a demo. The brutality and energy are all intact, but with more studio polish, and singer Jake Hout remarkably re-creates Bators’ post-Alice Cooper snarl.

Tim Stegall