Friday, February 20, 2009

Finnish Legends HANOI ROCKS play final gigs in Helsinki in April 2009.

Following a very successful second lease of life and 3 of the best albums Hanoi Rocks ever recorded in TWELVE SHOTS ON THE ROCKS (2003), ANOTHER HOSTILE TAKEOVER (2005) and STREET POETRY (2007), the core duo of Michael Monroe and Andy McCoy have decided to disband the group and go their separate ways. Monroe and McCoy originally reunited under the name HANOI ROCKS REVISITED to play a couple of festival dates in support of a retrospective box set in 2001 but this led to a full and fruitful reunion with various line ups from 2002 onwards.

Review of "STREET POETRY" for RIOT 77 magazine.........

Hanoi Rocks are one band that need a preservation order slapped on them to avoid any (more !!) misfortune that comes with the territory and lifestyle. This is the 3rd album of their much acclaimed rebirth ( 8th altogether ) and they’re arguably making the best music of their existence within this burst of life! STREET POETRY, along with the spectacular 12 SHOTS ON THE ROCKS ( 2003 ) and ANOTHER HOSTILE TAKEOVER ( 2006 ) at very least stand shoulder to shoulder with the vintage 80’s classics SELF DESTRUCTION BLUES and TWO STEPS FROM THE MOVE. What makes Hanoi Rocks work is that their roots have always been firmly attached where they matter most - Alice Cooper, The Sweet, the Stones, Heartbreakers and NY Dolls and early Finnish punk rock - They were the prototype bouffant sleaze band - a creation which was tainted considerably by the obvious tonnage of pale imitations in the 80’s, and much to their disdain, they’ve been forever associated ( by hair or whatever ) to a whole generation of bands they had little or nothing to do with. In fact, the Rocks had literally crashed and burned by the time hairspray, cocaine and Jack Daniels became mainstream pursuits ( good old Mr Google has this colourful story on standby!! ). History lessons aside, STREET POETRY has everything that makes a great HR record... from the stompin’ rigid sleazy riffing of HYPERMOBILE, POWERTRIP, TOOTIN STAR and the title track, to the continuing Lizzy fetish - TROUBLE BOYS is an inspired extra ( Philo’s DEAR MISS LONELY HEARTS appeared on ANOTHER HOSTILE TAKEOVER ). Mike Monroe and Andy McCoy still wield a raw energy that has half their contemporaries old, fat, dead or on strict organic diets. Elsewhere, TEENAGE REVOLUTION is straight off something pre-76 by Alice Cooper complete with with the choir of “teen rascals” ( the Suomenlinna elementary school 6th grade!! ), TRANSCENDENTAL GROOVE is old-old school Aerosmith with Joe Perry Guitar licks and the single FASHION must be ( along with Ronnie Drew’s GARDNER STREET BLUES ) one of the only songs in existence about hand-me-downs!! To round off, FUMBLEFOOT AND BUSY BEE is a fitting Johnny Thunders style cadence. The bonus fodder includes videos for FASHION and a couple from the 80’s BOULEVARD OF BROKEN DREAMS and HIGH SCHOOL. Now that the perverse interest in Scandinavian rock’n’roll punk has died off somewhat, it’s more obvious than ever who the fore-fathers of it all are. Take Hanoi Rocks out of the equation and the Backyard Babies, The Hives, The White Stripes, Turbonegro, The Helacopters and a whole host of others internationally ( G’N’R etc.. ) would fade out of the picture like that family shot in BACK TO THE FUTURE!!! This is Finnish heritage no less important than the Moomins, Mika Hakkinen and depressed vodka suicides and if the band ever sling up their axes for good, the Finish government could do worse than have them pickled!!! - BOZ

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