|—||Loud Loop Press|
Release date: 2011Jun07
Label: Hozac Records
Mickey hail from Chicago and their sound is similar to that of the New York Dolls, T.Rex, Dead Boys and other similar bands. “Dance” starts things off as an anthem that has a strong 1970s street punk feel to it. “Summer Night” is much the same as the lead singer does his best to imitate the swagger of David Johansen. Other highlights include “Rock and Roll Dreamer”, “Bright Lights”, “Kids Crazy In Love”, “Dream With Me” and “Baby We’re Gold”. This is a very fun record and one of the few vinyl reviews that I’ve done. It’s a great release if you like garage rock and early-mid 70s punk!
Try: 1,2,4,5, 9, 10
This review is funny because 1. the release date was May 27, 2011.. not June 7.. and 2. it’s filed under Punk/Ska. LOL
Either that or I was too busy wondering if, even mid-set, they’d outshined the headliner. On almost any given bill an upset in the Husseins’ favor could be feasible. But the feverish Mac Blackout (Mark McKenzie), frontman for Chicago foursome Mickey, wouldn’t let that happen.
Back for a second stint after April’s Mess-Around, the group’s second coming seemed highly anticipated. Unfortunately, however, the turnout was most shallow for Mickey—even Black Lodge had more listeners, although many were friends of the band.
Regardless, Mickey played as though it was their final performance, steaming with energy and sweating from the get-go. McKenzie displayed a naturally manic intensity that’s altogether ageless. Let’s hope the fresh-faced Husseins were watching.
Mickey is a rabid throwback to ’50s rock ‘n’ roll, with a little weirdo glam here and there. One shirtless player wore a wig that, from afar, looked like a bunch of blue-grey bananas atop his head. The band ripped through their mostly fast-paced repertoire while McKenzie plowed through the audience, knocking down a guy with a cane at one point. But he picked him right back up, palmed the fellow’s head and shouted gargled lyrics right in his face.
I missed one band at this year’s Mess-Around, and it was Mickey. I thought I’d kicked myself enough over it, but after seeing McKenzie—an irresistible, albeit dirty, crazy-eyed frontman bringing the band’s energy to a point, I deserve another punt. And for the hordes of folks who typically turn out for punk shows but bailed this time, you missed out.
Just like how bubonic plague resurfaces every few years to kill a few unlucky people, only to grow dormant again, some folks think that a perfectly lucid way to spend their time would be to start a new glam band. I don’t think it’s a case of glam being resilient but I do think that there are a lot of unoriginal assholes cluttering up what would otherwise be a pretty nice cosmos. As for Mickey’s turn in the bucket – it’s hard for me to imagine music worse than this: Maybe (maybe) if I was wealthy and had billions upon billions of dollars at my disposal, I could hire hundreds of Ph.D’s in lab coats, working around the clock with flow charts and Tesla coils, toiling for decades in the spirit of spitting-on-your-hands-and-doing-it-for-America, coupled with the finely-tuned logistics and resources of something approaching the Manhattan Project, all working for one united goal: to make a record sucks more than Rock ‘n’ Roll Dreamer, it still might fall short. But I’ll save everyone’s time: these clowns tried for hooky and catchy, but ended up with something insipid and annoying. Its songs go beyond boring into painfully playacted, irritating and arch. Imagine being invited to a party, and when you get there, you’re stripped naked and thrown into a pit of Fiberglass insulation. That’s what listening to this band is like.
And hey: I like glam rock. I even watched Born To Boogie with minimal fast forwarding, but this reminds me of those metal bands that were influenced by punk and glam but ended up being those Sunset Strip atrocities. I figure this is exactly the record these creeps wanted to make: criminally stupid lyrics, a cover that looks like an eighth grader with a wisp of a moustache and a denim vest drew on his Trapper Keeper, and a general aura of stunted development. It you like your music sans intellect, cleverness, ambition, without even the most basic interesting or novel elements, and/or get your nostalgia receptors tickled at the thought of the Rainbo’s jukebox in 1984, then this record might be for you. You deserve each other.
For Mickey, their first album brings a nostalgic sound that will make you want push people, ride a skateboard and make out with your honey, instantaneously. Songs like “My Lady” and “Kids Crazy in Love” have tones that evoke spontaneity and sour sweetness.
The crunchy guitar sound throughout the album, but prominently featured on “Bright Lights,” shows what’s been missing in my post 90s music collection –risky metal-esque guitar riffs. Mac Blackout’s vocals on these tracks maintain an unhinged quality, but with control over that unhinged-ness, kind of like Brody Dalle of The Distillers. In no song is this more apparent than “Dream With Me,” in which he crescendos into some awesome rebel calls.
It would be nice to hear more of a range on this LP, since a lot of the songs meld into each other. The other issue with this album is that it ends too soon, but nonetheless, Rock N’ Roll Dreamer is simply a fun record. End of story.
9 Golden Eggs
Top Tracks: “Bright Lights,” “Dream With Me,” “Baby We’re Gold
Mac Blackout sneered and shook his way through a twenty minute set, sweating through two layers of clothing until he ended up shirtless and bellowing like a bat-shit crazy, young Belushi. Whereas the frontman of Chicago degenerates, Mickey, sounds like a snotty, but thoughtful dreamer on wax - on stage he seems way more like the type to break your nose before stealing your chick (and probably your car).
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Following a lead like Blackout, you’d think the rest of Mickey would be out of sight and out of mind. Luckily for the audience attending the Layabout’s 4th of July party, this was not the fucking case. And it wasn’t because the five piece were caged in an area that was literally half the size of a teenager’s bedroom. No, the other four synced their chords in perfectly-timed sleaze, playing up glam-trodden dramatics so immediate they’d be impossible to rehearse.
Mickey is a band not to be missed, if not for their live antics, for their initial get-up alone. Dressed like mismatched street kids from varying Walter Hill flicks, the band is a hodgepodge of metal, punk, glam and trash that would probably be a running joke if they didn’t back this look with a strong enough testament to make any naysayer eat his words. And if someone in the audience happened to hear such a remark on a night like this, you could probably also count on his teeth.