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April 12, 2024

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Dee Dee Ramone
Zonked! (Other People's Music/P.O. Box 227/Postal Station "P"/Toronto, Canada, M5S 2S7)

By: Marc Clarkin

The Prodigal Son of the Ramones, Dee Dee Ramone, who left in 1989 after the Brain Drain album, has just released an exciting new album called Zonked(North American version) and Ain't It Fun? (European version).

With Zonked, Dee Dee Ramone has created record that reeks of the attitude. Zonked is possessed by the spirit of the early sixties rocknroll. Those looking for some pseudo Ramones imitation are advised to go elsewhere. Dee Dee doesn't need to pretend he can rock out like every other pseudo Ramones imitator on Lookout Records because he has been there, done that, and along the way been one of the most influential songwriters of the last 25 years.

That having been said, Dee Dee has hardly gone the way of the Patti Smiths of the world and plummeted into the ballad for old timer's genre. Songs like "Fix Yourself Up" and "Its So Bizarre" just sound more like early 60s rock than another pretentious 90s punk imitation. "Bad Horoscope" is a rockabilly rant that appropriately features Lux Interior of the Cramps on lead vocals. "Disguises" features atmospheric harmonies so soothing that the song feels like the long lost twin of the Beach Boy's "Don't Worry Baby." "My Chico" and "Get Out Of My Room" feature excellent vocal performances by Dee Dee's wife, Barbara (Babs) Ramone. The highlight of Zonked's many peaks is the 1st single, "I Am Seeing UFOs." "UFOs" reunites Dee Dee with fellow "Bruddah", Joey Ramone, who does a most bitchin vocal performance on this ethereal masterpiece.

Zonked is an album that just grows on the listener. You might not think Zonked is great but at the same time you can't stop listening to the record. Deeper into the Zonked addiction, all attempts to stop replaying the record become futile and you begin to swear that you've heard the outro to "Why Is Everybody Always Against Germany" somewhere before.

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