Tag Archives: Batusis

New Album! Batusis

Billy Corgan jamming with Keef? Uhhh...NO!

Attention 7os punks, Dolls and Dead Boys fans! 

Cheetah Chrome and Sylvain Sylvain have teamed up in The BatusisAlthough the band name comes from a campy dance (Batman fans, represent!), this guitar-wrangling, hard charging band (with Joan Jett’s rhythm section providing the backbeat) means an EP that burns it up from start to finish. The four song disc contains two instrumentals; “Blues Theme” and “Big Cat Stomp” are fun workouts, perhaps more straight-ahead rock’n’roll than you’d expect from a duo with their punk/glam pedigree. 

“What You Lack In Brains” is as condescending as it sounds, albeit tounge-in-cheek courtesy of Syl, and channels the same pop-punk chops that he always brought to the Dolls and his solo efforts. Having seen him live a few times with the Dolls in the past two years, it’s clear he still has a full tank, but the infrequency of that band’s recording and live performances has to be frustrating to a guy who loves the stage as much as he does. 

Miles down the road from being young, loud and snotty, Chrome’s turn on  “Bury You Alive” is jam-packed with seething social and political commentary, and done quite well, too. Frankly, I was caught off guard by the lyrics and very pleasantly surprised – this is a hot track well worth repeat play and I’d love to see them pull it off live. (At the very least I want a full length platter; what started as a fun side project has tapped into good stuff from all involved.) 

The Batusis is available from Smog Veil Records

You know the dance. Now go rock

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Blast From The Past: Sylvain Sylvain


Syl Sylvain
is one cool cat.
 

The Keef to David Johansen‘s Mick in the New York Dolls, Syl is the one who makes the engine hum. And as there are but the two sole surviving Dolls, that’s more important in 2010 than it was two decades ago when they first blasted upon the scene. 

I was playing some of his solo work today and flashed back to a review I wrote in November 1998 for Consumable Online; his albums had just been released on CD. At the time I surmised that the Dolls would never reform (I am very happy to have been proven wrong!) and hoped that he would resume his own career since Johansen obviously intended to do the same. 

The live Dolls reunion a few years ago and the subsequent album One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This both blew me away with a sound both classic and fresh. I wasn’t a big fan of the next Dolls album Cause I Sez So, and their recent live shows seem to use the same set list that they’ve been doing for a while. But I also believe that when good bands satisfy their outside urges they can bring some great stuff back to the table. 

The always-busy Steve Conte is doing that right now with The Crazy Truth. Syl is doing the same thing in Batusis with Cheetah Chrome of The Dead Boys. Maybe that will make the Dolls stronger. Maybe not. 

But no matter what happens, these Sylvain Sylvain albums rule. 

I'm Dickens, He's Fenster

After leaving the New York Dolls, guitarist Sylvain Sylvain released a couple of very good pop records that somehow got lost in the shuffle. When no third record materialized, it was a disappointment but not a big surprise – after all, post-punk pop was finding no welcome mat in the synth-happy 1980s, and even David Johansen had to whore himself out as Buster Poindexter just to put food on the table. 

Imagine my delight when Fishhead Records not only released some of Sylvain’s previous songs on one CD (Sylvain Sylvain…..In Teenage News), but a brand new collection of twelve songs! Adding to the good news was the announcement that Sylvain was hitting the club circuit again, band in tow. 

He’s still a pop guy with 50’s doo-wop roots glowing through his songs. The title track, an ode to his lost bandmates, is reminiscent of Little Anthony and The Imperials, while “Another Heart Needs Mending” mines the same sock-hop vocal territory. But grit abounds too, thanks to a crack band of backup musicians, among them Frankie Infante and Fuzztones Rudy Protrudi and John Carlucci. “Oh Honey” is pure Bo Diddley, and “I’m Your Man” is a finger-poppin’ rework that jumps out of the speakers. 

Although proud of his Dolls roots, reading Sylvain interviews gives a strong clue that a reunion will never happen, mostly due to a fractured relationship with Johansen. Still, Sylvain has no qualms with the great songs they wrote; three are included here, among them a spirited rendition of “Trash” (a song also recently covered by soulmate Gilby Clarke). And only a former Doll could write a “Sleepwalk” style instrumental and call it “Forgotten Panties”! Hopefully this signals the beginning of the second half of Sylvain Sylvain’s career

Syl’s MySpace site 

A good Creem interview from 2005 

Yet another  from 2006, courtesy Brooklyn Vegan

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