Marky Ramone & the Speed Kings – Legends Bleed

Rock-n-roll is here in a big way. The burgeoning popularity of this new form of music has already devoured the college music scene with revolutionary bands like the Mooney Suzuki and the Agenda, creating new and diverse sounds that push the boundaries of creative and cathartic expression in the art form of music. Such previously little known bands as the Strokes and the Vines are providing the pre-packaged mainstream with much needed unpredictability and a wild streak not seen since the days of Limp Bizkit’s emergence as a driving creative force in the music world. Rock-n-roll seems here to stay. Indeed, it is not just a “here today, gone tomorrow” musical genre such as third wave ska.
One such pioneer of this rock-n-roll genre offers up a heaping helping of raw fun and excitement. Marky Ramone, former drummer of a little-known NYC punk band, announces his presence to the world with this release entitled Legends Bleed. Apparently, Marky’s old band, the Ramones, were incredibly ahead of the curve, playing a style of super-technical, highly-skilled music that has influenced this current rock-n-roll reformation. For 20-plus years, the Ramones went relatively unnoticed, and it is good to see such leaders of a genre getting the proper recognition that they deserve.
But one must ask, “What kind of influences do musicians of this rock n roll music draw from?” Surely, they must have a passion in their hearts to express such raw emotions and radiate such a fun atmosphere. Here, Marky Ramone shows off the basis for rock n roll – drugs, girls, and a “fuck you” type attitude. Song titles range from “Fuck Shit Up!” to “Sex Phone Girls” and cover highly important events in today’s world. The music of the band is straight ahead, rollicking guitar licks that harken back to the hot rods of the 1950s. Lots of the songs concern having a good time and living life nonstop. This is quality music but lacks some of the finer points of such bands like the New Bomb Turks and other rock n roll bands of today. Same subject matter. Different level of quality. Marky was originally a drummer for a reason, and it shows.
Sixteen songs here get a bit repetitive. With 20 tracks in all, the last four feature ultra-rare field recordings of the Ramones in their natural environment of small, dingy clubs. These tracks stand out from Marky’s work and will surely serve to influence and entire generation of young rock n rollers, a trend that will hopefully spur on this new form of music past its current early experimental stage.