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June 21, 2024

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Sonny Vincent
The Good, The Bad, The Ugly (Acetate Records)

By: Vinnie Apicella

If I didn't have a bias toward the fact this album features some of my favorite players, and the fact that Vincent's track record in Punk Rock circles reads like an eight page rap sheet for America's Most Wanted's latest lead story, I'd still say it blows the doors off most the mainstream shit in Punk guise. Vincent's history is legendary and impressive enough in its own right, but are there really enough people that know who, what, where and when, when it comes to Sonny Vincent? Rocket From The Crypt did when they offered their instrumental support on their latest tour together. And luckily here's an album that says it all, through the kick ass and dirty Detroit-born sound, and the no less than nineteen contributing guitarists representing middle aged and modern day outcasts like MC5, The Damned, Black Flag, Sonic Youth and The Offspring. Impressed? Wait until you hear the record. The sound is pure Motor City trash, ranking back to the best Garage Punk had to offer in the day and updating the sound to a notch below barely audible - or Zeke, as many might suggest - and would true Punks have it any other way? Vincent's story began back in the mid-'70s and the New York-reared Testors, which short-lived though it was, was one of the few street acts to get their gig at the legendary LES hangs with the likes of The Ramones, Dead Boys, Suicide, and so forth.

Followed by countless solo jaunts and forged friendships along the way, two decades plus later, Vincent remains among the scene's most revered performers. "The Good, The Bad, The Ugly" is an audio highlight reel of new material consisting of fourteen fast moving fret-blazing tracks. With a trusty "FTW" for guidance, he lets it hang loose and his guest stars are only too happy to lend a hand(s) to get the riff, fill, or closing run done. While Vincent's featured "band" for the album includes The Stooges' Scott Asheton and The Damned's Captain Sensible, a super-trio in their own right, the songs are boosted by the extra finger work by the individual players - I'll go on a limb to call "Down The Drain" the unlikely standout with Richard Lloyd's (Television) and Jimmy James' (The Hangmen) dirty Blues style for one of the few downshifts. At the onset the disc breaks into a blistering pace - "My Guitar," "Trans-Love," and "That Sound," with Vincent finding freedom and friendship through his own and the many others who've shared the scene and likely photo session for the slickly done cover pages here.

Definitely on the louder side of living dangerously, this disc takes no prisoners, follows no rules, fucks the world more than a few times, and has "all my favorite guys to play on the album." What more could you ask for? They even got Brian James and Greg Ginn to play here - "Trans-Love" and "Yesterday's News," both great tunes, incidentally! It's an ol' schooler's dream and new schooler's blueprint for cool. Riding Heavy Rock and Classic era Punk with plenty o' hooks, heart, soul, and skin-shredding sacrifice, "GBU" is singularly Sonny when the smoke clears but meaty enough at its core to come off like twenty bands in one down this endless line of anything goes anthems for a new generation of degenerates.

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