“Danger in Disneyland” b/w “It’s Gotta Be Her,” “I Know You Hate Me”
Young Soul Rebels
The severe lack of competent and ambitious local Detroit record labels supporting the initial wave of punk rock means that only now, a quarter of a century later, do we get to hear the best Detroit had to offer back then.
The Ramrods are the name of Detroit frontline punk warriors. While Alive/Total Energy’s “Motor City’s Burnin” compilation finally unleashed the gung-ho, fist-jacking anthem “I’m a Ramrod” on the world back in 1998, the guts of their oeuvre are fresh, bloody and still beating on Gimme Some Action.
Ramrods lead howler Mark J. Norton barks like a bored kid with an armload of bulldogs while guitarist Peter James’s scarred-yet-smooth soloing informs us that Raw Power was safely tucked under his pillow. While the ’Rods studio output is brief, the highlight of the disc is easily their 1977 live medley: “Helter Skelter” catapults into a punk-painted “My Generation” and declares the obvious in “Search and Destroy” and cements its place in rock lore by adding the archetypical “I’m a Ramrod.”
The Denizens aren’t any less exciting. “Danger in Disneyland” was recorded “somewhere in Boston” and produced by prophetic Punk magazine publisher Legs McNeil and follows in the unfailing tradition of name-dropping the neutron bomb. The backing vocals are rock solid for any era and the melody could’ve been a contender had it seen the light of day any earlier.
E-mail Ben Blackwell at email@example.com.