Poetry and Fiction Books

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Media Type: CD
Artist: X
Street Release Date: 09/18/2001
Genre: ROCK/POPSteeped in poetry and class issues, X was the first L.A. punk band to fully incorporate a dark West Coast sensibility. Singer/lyricists/spouses John Doe and Exene Cervenka forged a stray-cat approach to vocal harmonies while spieling reports on crash-pad sex and drugs, casual hatred, and the occasional spotting of the "idle rich." Full-powered and intelligent, X's sound also spotlighted Billy Zoom, a pompadoured guitarist schooled by Gene Vincent, and flexible drummer D.J. Bonebrake. Los Angeles, the first of four productions by ex-Door Ray Manzarek, made an excellent case for the group, though its ambitions were to be quickly outstripped by the evolving personal takes of Doe and Cervenka. For the most part, the album is fast, hard, and fleet, like the motorcycles Zoom loved: "Your Phone's Off the Hook," "Johnny Hit and Run Pauline," the title track, and a Ramones-style cover of the Doors' "Soul Kitchen" are touchstones that reach beyond their era. Only "The Unheard Music," a turgid bit of suburbia-bashing, mars the original LP, which is augmented on this reissue by five bonus tracks that bring the running time close to 40 minutes. --Rickey Wright

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