Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cassette Review: Happy, Thrill Hungry, Ready and Willing













R.O.T.A.
Kick Happy, Thrill Hungry, Ready and Willing (Noise International) 1991

Rights of the Accused started out as a juvenile hardcore band in Chicago in the early 80s. That's not to say that their subject matter was juvenile (it was) but these snotty punkers were barely out of puberty when they formed in 1982. Their 1984 Innocence 7" is considered a classic of early Chicago hardcore.

Over the course of the decade ROTA evolved into a hard rock party band or (depending on how much credit you want to give to the intelligence of it's members) a parody of a hard rock party band. Kick Happy, Thrill Hungry, Ready and Willing is a pretty weak party, however. It's full of generic riffs, forced ideas, bland vocals and pretty much encapsulates everything I don't like about this hybrid of punk and metal—it's all the cheese with none of the tongue-in-cheek.

In 1988, Herb Rosen (bass), Wes Kidd (guitar) and Brian St. Clair (drums) along with original singer Mike O'Connell, constituted the new Rights who seemed to open every decent rock show I found myself at that year. I was not a fan. It seemed to me at the time that ROTA just wanted to break out, Beastie Boy-style, and party rock to a major label deal and national fame. Nothing wrong with that, it was just hard to sit through while waiting for touring band like White Zombie (featuring original guitarist Jay Yuenger no less) to play. Kidd's subsequent band, Triple Fast Action, would score a record deal with Capitol in the signing frenzy of 1995. Brian St. Clair would go on to drum for local duo Local H and Rosen and O'Connell may or may not still play in the local Chicago bar band, The Beer Nuts--Joey Germ

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