BLOODY RED BARON Reviews – February Reviews

Posted on 24 April 2015



by Mike Baron

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Blood Rush Hour

THE BLOOD RUSH HOUR: And Then the Unthinkable Happened

The Blood Rush Hour produces a kinetic sugar rush that skates down the Big Rock Candy Mountain on a snowboard. This is power pop on steroids with walloping hooks and heavenly choirs, combining elements of Jackdaw4, Queen, British music hall and XTC. Robert DeStefano composes on keyboards and it shows in his ambitious compositions alternating major and minor chords, as all great pop must, segueing from “Hello (They’re Coming to Get You,)” to “Too Hard to Put Right” so subtly you think it’s the same song. “Too Hard” contains elements of Edgar Winter’s Entrance — another keyboard composer. Thrilling piano intro to “Run to the Roundhouse” conjures a Hitchcock movie.

They enclose a libretto. “Thus in light of my enfeebled, fruitless attempts to make Pale grey sentiment turn to gold I no longer desire to fan a fire I sense is cold.” I had to look up words. It’s operatic. None of this matters, led by DeStefano’s exuberant keyboards you will soon memorize and sing along. He lays in sampled flute that connects with the Summer of Love. Heavenly choirs break through the clouds in “Dancing By Yourself” and “Mr. Wonderful.” By the time you get to the racing rocket that is “You Don’t Seem to Wonder Why,” you have no incentive to step on the brakes.

Five stars.


PHONOGRAPH – Phonograph

This British quartet are masters of garage rock, the mellifluous hook and an elegant simplicity that recalls the Kinks, Hollies, early Beatles and such modern successors as The Red Button, The Offbeat and Galaxie. Their sound is melancholy and lo-fi — you can hear fingers on guitar strings. Like most songs on this record “Hangin’ Round” has Everly Brothers harmonies and a Mike Tyson hook. The sun explodes on the chorus of the Hollies-like “Waiting For the Sun.” The hooks just keep on coming with “Don’t You Bring Me Down” stroking the occipital lobe with French ticklers, shifting from major to minor and back again. “Losing My Nerve” is a John Lennon song. “California” sounds like the best Crosby, Stills and Nash song you never heard. One great song after another.

            Five stars. 

The Wind

THE WIND: Re-Wind.

More than three decades after releasing their first record, The Wind reform to release their best record. Beginning with old school kinetic booty-shaker “Fight Like a Girl,” the Wind make the case for thinking man’s power pop. The guitar is pure Buddy Holly. Lane Steinberg sings most lead in a conversational tenor with the carefree technique of Mel Torme. His conversational vocal on “Something To Do Nothing About” sounds almost like found melody until it hits the Beatlesque bridge. Steve Katz’ “Let Me Show You How It’s Done” channels the Righteous Brothers with its soulful melody, harmonies and killer hook. “Weak Spot” piles hook on hook with a Motownish bridge. “Unattainable” has the good bones of a Brill Building brick house. “Which Part of Goodbye” sounds like early Beatles. The album is front-loaded, but that load lasts most of the way.

            Four and a half stars. 

Lane offers the following: As we’re finding out, everyone seems to have at least one Kim Fowley story, so here’s mine. In late 1982, after Rolling Stone wrote a piece about the Wind, lots of people legit and otherwise were contacting us. One afternoon I answered the phone and this slightly annoyed voice said, “This is Kim Fowley. Do you know who I am?” I said of course. “Good. Now let me ask you a question: do you want to be famous or do you want to be a failure?” I said the former. “Well, if you want to be famous, you need to come out to LA and pay Kim Fowley a dollar a minute, then maybe I can make you famous. I can’t guarantee you success, but what I can guarantee is that if you don’t pay Kim Fowley, you will fail.” I asked him how much, at a dollar a minute, he would need to start off and I think he said about five grand. “Ask your parents”, he said. “You’re all Jewish, right? Pool together your Bar Mitzvah money, rob a bank. I don’t care. Your band is good. Not great, but good enough for me to help you. But first you need to come out to LA and pay Kim Fowley a dollar a minute.” Not knowing what to say, I tried to change the subject by mentioning a 70’s album he did with Skip Batton of the Byrds. That got no reaction. Then I asked him if he was still in contact with Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys. That made him lose his patience. “BRUCE JOHNSTON IS A FUCKING IZOD SHIRT! NOW, DO YOU WANT TO BE FAMOUS OR DO YOU WANT TO BE A FAILURE? Think it over, talk to your parents, then call me back when you have the money. Goodbye.”

I never called, we never paid Kim Fowley the money, and The Wind never got famous.

RIP, Kim Fowley.

The Satisfactors

THE SATISFACTORS: Rock n’ Roll Baby (Bongo Boy)

Four guys from the Easy Outs, Doughboys, Edgar Winter and the Grip Weeds produce rave-up rock in the manner of .38 Special, Angel City, Def Leppard and Motley Crue. One barn burner after another beginning with the one-two punch of “She Got Charm” and “I Love Girls,” both of which will get you on the dance floor pumping your fist. Kurt Reil’s drums are out front in a perfect production. “You’re So Crazy” recalls Black Oak Arkansas — these Jersey boys have a strong strain of southern rock in their blood. “Hey Mama” is one of the greatest Rolling Stone songs you’ve never heard. If you like hard rock this is for you. They would kill at Sturgis.

            Four and a half stars.

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Mike Baron is the creator of comic books Badger and (along with Steve Rude)  Nexus.  His latest book is “A Brief History of Jazz Rock” – more on Amazon CLICK HERE.

He has written five novels in the last few years, all available on Amazon here:  Visit his website here: and on Wikipedia here:

One Response to “BLOODY RED BARON Reviews – February Reviews”


  1. […] Michael A. Baron’s review of Re-Wind in Pop Geek Heaven […]