CJ RAMONE - The Holy Spell
Release date May 10/19 (Fat Wreck)
The Mighty Decibel's #2 hard rock (and best punk) album of 2019!!!
A return to old school melodic punk with the release of the fifth solo album by CJ Ramone. Most casual fans of the Ramones will probably forget (or never knew) how integral CJ was to the band's sound during his time in the band (from 1989 to their dissolution in 1996). CJ sang lead vocals on four songs on the final Ramones album (Adios Amigos) and played bass on the entire album, and any of the new songs on this solo album could easily be on that fine platter by the punk legends.
The formula used on this effort is simple: driving punk 'n' roll riffs in two to three minute blasts with lots of catchy hooks. This is, above all else, a very well written album with 11 of the 12 songs being punk standards with a single balled ("Hands of Mine") that is a well written and performed in its own right.
CJ's vocals have not deteriorated at all in the 23 years since the Ramones broke up, and his bass work remains strong. The drumming and guitar work on this album are also top notch. Picking highlights is impossible because the entire album is a string of highlights. But if you want to sample what this is about go for "One High, One Low", "There Stands the Glass" or "Movin' On".
For any fans of latter era Ramones, Bad Religion or the like, this is for you. Seek it out.