At first blush it could appear to be a tad bit sacrilege: taking a punk rock classic, the Dead Boys debut, “Young, Loud and Snotty,” and re-recording the album four decades later… with a new singer. But, in realty, the re-recorded version is actually a better product sonically.
Yes, the original is a landmark in American punk rock. Put out in 1977, it spawned the classic single “Sonic Reducer” and stood as a perfect example of what punk rock was in the late ‘70s: fast, loud and sloppy. But the original album was a demo and the band never expected the label would release it as is. “Still Snotty: Young, Loud & Snotty at 40!” has the benefit of musicians that play much better than when they started out (guitarist Cheetah Chrome was decent in 1977; Chrome in in 2017 is simply amazing). In addition, they have far better production with this newer version.
Singer Stiv Bators died in 1990, so Chrome and original drummer Johnny Blitz brought in Jake Hout from Dead Boys tribute band, the Undead Boys, to handle vocals, and added Jason Kottwitz on guitar and Ricky Rat on bass. The result is surprisingly impressive. The songs are not overly-polished, but much more accessible and the improvement in musicianship is stark.
All nine-tracks are covered here, and while “Sonic Reducer” is still a standout track, songs like “What Love Is,” “All This and More” and the album closer “Down in Flames” get a much needed second chance. Rather than a substitute for “Young, Loud & Snotty,” “Still Snotty” stands as a perfect bookend to the original. Called it punk rock evolved… but not too much.
Dead Boys – Still Snotty: Young, Loud & Snotty at 40!/9 tracks/Plowboy Records/2017