Gutterboy (1990)


Geffen, 1990

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


Oh God, this band again! Sometime ago, I reviewed this group of wannabe tough guys who looked like they came out of the 1950s. The music sucked, the image sucked, and they’ve mostly been forgotten. Leave it to me to find a copy of their first album from 1990 for 50 cents in a thrift store. Some of the guys had been part of the NYC hardcore scene in the ‘80s, but when major label money came through, they styled their hair, put on leather jackets, and tried to sound like an earnest version of The Clash.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Vocalist/guitarist Dito (who went on to become a novelist and screenwriter) isn’t much of a singer. His raspy growl has been done a thousand times before, and on “Far Away,” it gets really grating and awful. You find yourself laughing after a while. The album’s production isn’t too bad, but then you look at the credits and find the name Jonathan Elias, and when you find he did a lot of work with Duran Duran and Yes, you quickly realize he is not the kind of guy to produce this mess. “A Rainy Day On Mulberry St.” sounds like earnest ‘80s Midwest singer/songwriter bullshit and it’s confusing to wonder where exactly this band really wanted to go.

Let’s talk about “Let’s Get Lost;” it’s named after a Chet Baker film directed by Bruce Weber, who coincidentally took the ridiculous wannabe Calvin Klein photos for this album. This song is so laughably bad at its attempt in trying to be serious and dramatic. With songs like “Growing Up Under The RR” and “Bus Stations And Train Yards,” it’s like “Okay, we know youse a buncha New York toughs. It doesn’t make the music any better!” These two records were such flops for two different record labels that neither are available digitally. That should tell you something.

Dito’s vocals are not suited for these songs, even when he tries to be soulful on “Just One Of Those Things.” God, the early ‘90s were a great time for awful rock that was trying to be short of metal and just a step below AOR. These guys need to be rediscovered and held up as an example of how major labels would throw money at anything pre-Nirvana and hope it would sell. One should only listen to these out of strong curiosity.

Rating: F

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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