The 10 best songs from Little Steven's Underground Garage
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Steven Van Zandt knows his garage rock. So much so, he hosts his own radio show about it. Allow us to present 10 belters from Little Steven’s Underground Garage...
THE CHARMS – Gimme That Shot (2005)
The unmistakably grooving sound of the chiming organ immediately showcases this 21st-century Massachusetts band as being far more than retro insects. This crawls, slides and sidles with all the verve which makes them so strongly connected to a sound that’s nearly 50 years old.
JOEY RAMONE – Maria Bartiromo (2002)
Yes, this is the same Joey Ramone who was one of the most important figures in punk history. This tune from his 2002 solo album Don’t Worry About Me fairly thrums and hums with all the good stuff you find in any great garage anthem.
GLUECIFER – I Got A War (2000)
Gluecifer are a prime example of why Norway has become such a hotbed for garage rock over the past two decades. With this opening track of their 2000 album Tender Is The Savage, Gluecifer take music right back to basement basics with all the grit and growl of a battlefield boogie.
THE LAUNDERETTES – What Would Joan Jett Do (2007)
An all-girl garage band from Norway, with a history closing in on 20 years, this lot take a fistful of filthy, fighting rock ’n’ roll and shove it right down every orifice. What would Joan Jett do? She’d realise that The Launderettes are a band not to be messed with.
BUZZCOCKS – Sick City Sometimes (2003)
It might seem to be a long way removed from the days of the Spiral Scratch EP, but the Buzzcocks always did have a penchant for the sort of melodies that came from a garage root. They showcased that with Ever Fallen In Love With Someone, but this song, from their self-titled seventh album, really drives home the point.
CREATURES OF THE GOLDEN DAWN – Bye Bye Baby (1994)
Here comes the screaming harmonica and the landmark riffage that marks out this band as natural successors to The Fuzztones and the Headless Horsemen. They emerged in the late 80s, and when you hear Bye Bye Baby, you know you’re in the presence of psychedelic power-pop princes.
THE CHESTERFIELD KINGS – Somewhere, Nowhere (2003)
From Rochester, New York, the Chesterfield Kings brought the authenticity of 60s garage rock to the early 80s. Their approach bustled with a Stones vibe, but also channelled through the sort of distorted energy that made the original garage masters so brilliant.
BUTCH WALKER & THE LET’S-GO-OUT-TONITES – Hot Girls In Good Moods (2006)
Musician, producer, songwriter... Butch Walker has covered the whole spectrum of rock over the past 25 years. In 2006 he went for a garage vibe on the album The Rise And Fall Of Butch Walker & The Let’s Go Out Tonites. The title paid homage to Bowie, and this song has a strong T. Rex groove. The result: true garage bliss bolstered by cataclysmic pop fuel.
THE LEN PRICE 3 – If I Ain't Got You (2007)
This lot sound like they belong on the US west coast circa 1966. So imagine the surprise when you find out they are a current band, based in the Medway towns of the UK. But what they do here is combine the crunch and grit of British garage with the ebullience and poppy charisma of their American antecedents. Irresistible.
THE DICTATORS – The Savage Beat (1997)
The band who brought New York punk/metal to life like no others in the early 1970s, The Dictators had it all: a mean slice of street cred, riffs that punched like a mule train on crack, and a knack of telling brutally fixated blue-collars stories. This was the B-side of *Who Will Save Rock ’N’ Roll**?*.
The songs selected are available on Volumes 1-5 of Little Steven’s Underground Garage Presents... The Coolest Songs In The World!