The title of Rx27’s single “Hell of a Time” encapsulates the core of the song that contrasts the concept of Hell as a symbol for extremes and the joy that the expression that is that title implies. The group’s gritty glam flavor unifies the imagery and the emotional resonances of Heaven and Hell perhaps in the Romantic sense, but certainly after the manner of bands like The Cramps and The Gun Club that embraced camp and melodrama as a state of mind, of being, that accepted the dark side of the psyche as well as an earthly transcendence of mortal limitations through the ecstasy of rock and roll. That reconciliation of opposites could be heard in the music of Lou Reed for whom the ultimate state of being, as has been observed by various critics, was “alright.” Not too dark, not too light, but a way of life and being that is attainable and sustainable but allows for a full range of authentic experiences. Joie Blaney and Ms. Maxine MurrDerr trade lines about leaving behind a life of only mundane experiences like X gone pop punk and sounding like the embodiment of a disregard for a stultifying decorum when there’s vital life to be living. Listen to “Hell of a Time” on YouTube and connect with Rx27 at the links below.
“Chasing Crazy” finds Rx27 sneering at this era in which love is too often shallow, insipid, casual and commodified in a way that leeches all the grit, blood and essential humanity out of it. Online dating and the odd catalog/menu quality of it as echoed in so many areas of our lives seems to have warped our sense of what is vital and life-affirming. Singers Joie X Blaney and Msmaxine Murrderr trade lines like 45 Grave doing a tag team diss track. Though nearly shouted as a chorus, the refrain of “fuck forever” casts that throwaway word forever in its most colloquial and conceptual usage as the subjective experience that feels like forever but also as a rejection of the values of temporal and tepid rather than passionate, meaningful and enduring. The subtext of the song one might assume as being wanting the kind of love that’s transformative and deeply significant over transient and merely titillating. The line “Cry me a river hoping I will down, I would rather be alone than on your merry-go-round” is key as it poetically states a principle of wanting something that matters rather than be part of someone’s game in which everyone involved is disposable. “Chasing Crazy” blurs the line between punk, glam and death rock with a bombastically irreverent attitude toward the norms of this drab age and yet, in its own way, is the kind of love song that eschews the clichés by chasing after something that might seem crazy to some and that is something that is more than appearances and with someone whose flaws we accept and who accepts ours as part of the deal of being in a relationship with another actual human being. Listen to “Chasing Crazy” on Spotify and follow Rx27 at the links below.
When “Gasoline” starts up, you think for a second that it’s going to go into a warped version of “Repo Man” by Iggy Pop but then the rhythm fully engages and its headlong pace and cutting but melodic guitar riff, helped by Rikk Agnew formerly of The Adolescents and Christian Death (circa the 1982 classic Only Theatre of Pain), are an integral part of the song and its tale of a combustible relationship that is mutually destructive but irresistible. The kind where both people know how fucked up it is but the drama and the darkness are a turn on for both people and they’re going to ride it out until it flames out in spectacular fashion. The metaphor of relationship as perilous car ride is borne throughout but especially the part that begins with “crash and burn” and completes with “built for speed,” I’m what you need.“ Singer Joie Blaney takes some lines and MisMaxine Murrderr others as they sing/scream almost as call and response but also together. And dark as the song goes there’s something sweet about it at heart like two cynical hedonists who’ve seen it all get each other and get to each other by bypassing their defenses and numbness to vanilla stimulation even if it will cost them in the end. Listen to “Gasoline,” produced by Paul Roessler of The Screamers, 45 Grave and Nina Hagen fame, on YouTube and follow Rx27 at the links below.