"Vampire City" (Trash2001; 2004)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

It has nothing to do with the music, but the coolest thing about "Vampire City" is the packaging. Well, not so much the packaging, but the actual CD itself. You see, it's blood red. That's right. The disc itself is blood red. How cool is that for a CD entitled "Vampire City"?

Okay, maybe I'm just easily amused. 

Moving on (and that's not easy because the blood red CD is so wicked cool!), "Vampire City" is a collection of songs that fall somewhere between hard rock and punk (often heavier on the punk) and feature vocalist/songwriter Dennis Most (no, not Donny from "Happy Days").  Most sometimes sounds a little like Joey Ramone and that's never a bad thing and the songs often steer away from the simple, three-chord punk and into curious little numbers with fretwork reminiscent of Steve Stevens of the Billy Idol band, especially on the eerie "Gruesome Stories" and the title track.

Although most of the tracks are acceptable, if not particularly notable, ditties, there are a couple that don't cut the mustard. In particular there's "Heavy Metal Thunder Child" which, despite it's promising title, is a blurry mess and "Why Did You Make Me Write This Song" feels incomplete, as though it were recorded before it was really explored or thought out.

Overall, though, "Vampire City" is entertaining enough, especially if you're in the mood for something a little raw.

Dennis Most and the Instigators: Dennis Most - vocals; Peter Poulos - guitar; Keith Grave - bass; Jeff Roncalli - drums, tone drum; Dave Rexford - keyboards, Arpeggio guitar; attack rhythm guitar, sonic color; Jim Fogarty - tambourine.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2006 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 26 Sep 2022 12:18:28 -0400.