Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Hard Stuff
Label: Epitaph / Ada
Format: mp3 (128kbps)
HHA Rating: 8.5
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While it made sense that a label inspired by the punk ethic the MC5 helped found put out Wayne Kramer's first full-on solo album, in many ways The Hard Stuff sticks out like a sore thumb from the usual Epitaph fare -- namely, because it's not interested in toeing a particular sonic line. Kramer's youthful obsession with soul power mixed with rough and ready noise, tempered by his older and wiser years but not lacking for a section of energy, makes for a great full-on rock & roll album. Certainly when one compares this work with the neutered slop his Detroit contemporary Ted Nugent was churning out in the late '80s and into the '90s, there's little question who chose to rest on laurels and who decided to jump into things full on. Kramer's choice of musicians to work with doesn't hurt -- all of Claw Hammer back him up on a number of songs, including the great opening blast "Crack in the Universe," while elsewhere the Melvins, Josh Freese, Keith Morris, Kim Shattuck, and even label boss Brett Gurewitz sit in. In a fine nod to Kramer's soul roots, Was (Not Was)'s Sweet Pea Atkinson, along with bassist James Jamerson, Jr., take a turn on the heavy groove "Pillar of Fire." Kramer's lyrics take on the wreckage of America with compassion for those stuck at the bottom, but it's his wailing guitar work, direct and powerful, that demonstrates best of all how you can't keep a good man down. Hearing the perversely beautiful sludge/slow jam of "Junkie Romance," Kramer demolishing the heroin chic image with the eye of a weathered survivor armed with wit and compassion, or the spoken word portrayal of an argument turned violent in "Incident on Stock Island" shows how his gifts are in full swing. Fine bonus: the untitled bonus track paying tribute to Kramer's personal hero Charles Bukowski. - - by Ned Raggett ( - -
1 - crack in the universe
2 - junkie romance
3 - bad seed
4 - poison
5 - realm of pirate kings
6 - incident on stock island
7 - pillar of fire
8 - hope for sale
9 - the edge of the switchblade
10 - sharkskin suit

===== ))) dOwNloAd ((( =====


Slobodan Burgher said...

Whoaaaaaa-hhhh. Been itching to try this out but sort of forgot about his solo stuff. Thanks Mister Sir!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


I really enjoy your blog. The WAYNE KRAMER links are dead. Can you please repost? THanks.