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Hanoi Rocks - Street Poetry (CD)

Hanoi Rocks
Street Poetry
by Grigoris Chronis at 10 September 2007, 9:41 AM

When the Fashion CD single was released a month ago, I was wondering if the whole forthcoming album will bear parallel mood. Even if a dissent 'twisted' HANOI ROCKS song, I was waiting for more energy by this superb legendary band. And energy did I get, at last. Street Poetry is an album for HANOI ROCKS fans, that's for sure. And, hopefully, an extra amount of followers may get tangled in the Finnish band's web in the (near) future to come. One of the bands still (since Monroe and McCoy decided to join forces again) honoring the 'Rock 'N' Roll' term all these years…
There are millions of GUNS N ROSES/SKID ROW fans out there, right? And lots of CRASHDIET devotees lately, huh? Half of them - the ones willing to do a little bit of research for the bands' 'roots' - have or will find the HANOI ROCKS name in front of 'em, sooner or later. I had lost 'contact' with the band the last couple of years, and it was time to recall the uniqueness of Michael Monroe (check his solo albums, too) in singing like an aristocratic vagabond. I love this man's abnormality. He is 'punk', he is 'rock', he is 'metal', he is 'hard'. HANOI ROCKS, this motley crew (huh…) are rock-punk-hard-metal and mad. In a sophisticated/cultural way…
The band's 80s albums are what we have all heard in post-mid80s sleaze Rock/Metal bands. Bangkok Shocks, Saigon Shakes, Hanoi Rocks (1981), Oriental Beat (1982), Self Destruction Blues (1982), Back To Mystery City (1983), Two Steps From The Move (1984, on CBS and Bob Ezrin produced): the archetypals of 'paranoid' sleazy Rock 'N' Roll. Dunno if the band's still (in the same level) recognizable worldwide, after its 21st century reunion. I do know, yet, that both 2002's Twelve Shots On The Rocks plus 2005's Another Hostile Takeover see past time with good company. Does Street Poetry stand on the same level? Yes, it does. From the killing riff of Hypermobile to the prog/space/hippo atmosphere of Fumblefoot And Busy Bee, it is quite clear it's the HANOI ROCKS prowlers outta here, out for your blood. Catchy melodies, enough of the 'classic' melodic bridges, tons of pop/sleaze singing by Monroe and a general feeling that music can still be made by jamming under the influence (and booze).
All songs are short enough in duration, meaning radio friendly (at least). Fashion - the first single - eventually is not one of my favorite tunes. I dig the speed of Hypermobile, the poetic malignancy of Street Poetry, the drifting electricity of Highwired, the narrative funkiness of Power Of Persuasion, the T-REX-ique glamor of Teenage Revolution, the sax-driven sub-punk culture of Worth Your Weight In Gold, the blah blah blah … What the hell? Each and every band playing sleazy punky dirty high-energy hard rock 'n' roll music after 1981 is inspired (among others) by HANOI ROCKS. Wanna make me call names, now? Listen to This One's For Rock 'n' Roll and draw your own conclusions.
HANOI ROCKS had a bright future in front of them in the 80s. If the 'Razzle accident' had not occurred in 1985 (the band's drummer was killed in a car crash with MOTLEY CRUE singer Vince Neil driving) thing should have been different, I assume. In any way, it's good to see HANOI ROCKS back on the trek with a valuable high-energy album like Street Poetry. This one's for Rock N Roll, too, for sure.
P.S.: In 1989, GUNS N' ROSES re-issued the HANOI ROCKS (then) back catalogue in the USA through their own Uzi Suicide label.

3 Star Rating

Street Poetry
Power Of Persuasion
Teenage Revolution
Worth Your Weight In Gold
Transcendental Groove
This One's For Rock 'N' Roll
Walkin' Away
Tootin' Star
Fumblefoot And Busy Bee
Michael Monroe - Vocals
Andy McCoy - Guitars, Backing Vocals
Conny Bloom - Guitars, Backing Vocals
Andy Christell - Bass, Backing Vocals
Lacu - Drums
Record Label: Demolition Records


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