|Healthy Junkies - 'Sick Note' (Self Released)|
|Written by Ben Hughes|
|Thursday, 18 August 2011 05:00|
Wrapped inside this trashy, cheap 'n' nasty looking DIY CD cover is possibly one of the nicest little surprise albums I have had to review this year. This female-fronted four piece hail from London and deliver 13 tracks of blistering, trashy, punky glam rock. Formed in 2009 by singer Nina Courson and guitarist Phil Honey-Jones, a shared love of Iggy Pop, Blondie and Nirvana brought them together and, backed by the wonderfully named Tjay Tarantino on bass and Steve Nightmare on drums, they bring us their debut offering, 'Sick Note'.
Opener 'Copycat' is a song about a dispute between two girls over the theft of music and lyrics. It starts funnily enough with a nicked riff from D Generation's 'No Way Out' and then as Nina sings the first line we are in a NY Loose state of mind and that's fine by me, the world could sure do with another Brijitte West at the moment. The guitars sound like they are aimed from the crotch which is what I want from my rock 'n' roll, don't you?
'Manifesto' leads in sounding more Blondie than Debbie Harry's sounded in many years - it's infectious and instant, the sounds of the '70s New York punk scene crashing in straight to the heart. So three tracks in and things are sounding mighty fine. 'Frozen Fields', again, is catchy reminding me of The Donnas or even Fuzzbox. It does lose it slightly mid album with 'Glam Sister' which is too trashy and throwaway for its own good, but they make it up quickly with the frantic 'Trash My Love', with its instant chorus it's a sure fire winner of a song.
'Beaten Dog No More' sees Phil (I presume) take control of the microphone with Nina's vocals complimenting well, it takes things up a notch song-writing wise. Though simple it's got a great jumpy groove to it, the shared "Get up" parts works great and, followed by 'Little Groupie', it sees them move more into Horrorpops territory.
Closing track 'Exile' has some nice vocal melodies and ends with a nice almost tribal beat going on with the bass and drums with added feedback noise under it.
It's good to find a new band with a hot singer who actually sounds like she looks, coming on like Brijitte West if she had been in Babes In Toyland listening to Blondie is a good combination, they have the songs to match and this should quickly gain them a decent following.
The songs reek of cheap booze, even cheaper clothes, low slung guitars and general debauchery, like a saturday night in late '80s Soho. It's sometimes trashy and throwaway and I like it. Only on the live circuit for 12 months, Healthy Junkies have a lot to prove and on the strength of 'Sick Note' they have a good start.
The only downside is a cover of '20th Century Boy', which I could live without. It has been done to death and better than this, they should have maybe sleazed up 'Metal Guru' instead.
Healthy Junkies are a band that deserve attention, they sound hungry, up for it and most of all like they mean it - ones to watch.