Velcro Lewis and his 100 Proof Band Ruin Everything Reviews
"Wow, looks like Chicago is becoming a breeding furnace for the most kick ass kinds of rock and roll. VELCRO LEWIS AND HIS 100 PROOF BAND released an incredible record which is as manly and ballsy as it's bluesy and sweet rockin' sounding. Their songs are crafted in a way LYNYRD SKYNYRD could have if their singer was the Rock'n'Roll Outlaw from THE HOOKERS, so we get so much maximum rockin' and bluesy action that it's hard to keep this CD down. Lewis' voice is harsh and soulful at the same time, very mean and in a blatant CoS inspired way, backed up by a swampy, foggy bluesy guitar sound with an almost bloody wet reverb. I really love this record. Songs like "They call Me The Tracker" are some of the best rock I've heard so far coming from the Windy City. A really good surprise I strongly encourage anybody into good ol' fashioned rock to check out and support, these guys will make it far." - Garbage Dump|
"Chicago drunk & dirty rawk goes toe-to-toe with psychobilly bar blues for perhaps the most entertaining rock n' roll record for 2005. Loud, raunchy and infinitely rocking."-Hellride Music
"It's been about fuckin' time a band has emerged out of the basement to catch me off guard. Song's like "Rockin' & Drinkin' (Tonight)" and "They Call Me the Tracker" are raw rock & roll with the right amount of southern rock and Chicago bluesin'. Working class ass kickin', drinkin' & rockin'. Velcro's blood curdling vocals kind of sound like Blaine from Nashville Pussy/Nine Pound Hammer and he kind of looks like him with the crow bar moustache & goatee. A solid and tight four piece band packing alot a power. 100 proof indeed!" - sleeves smashin' transistors
"This CD is the aural equivalent of waking up one booze-doomed morning, and exulting in the fact that you have just slept with a member af Nashville Pussy, but having said exultation quickly tempered by the fact that it was Blaine (if, of course, Blaine is from Chicago and everyone else in the band is also Blaine, and also from Chicago). I can explain things no better than Jake Austen's liner notes: "The punctuation on 'Rockin' and Drinkin' (Tonight)' is a testament alone to this band's greatness. With such a song title one need not even listen to the song to appreciate its magnificence, and perhaps one shouldn't."
BEST SONG: "Covert Lover/ Secret Sin"
BEST SONG TITLE: "Rockin' & Drinkin' (Tonight)
FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Liner notes thank Jim Knipfel, whom I was in Cub Scouts with." --Rev. Norb Razorcake
"Velcro Lewis and his merry men peddle a raunchy, unpretentious and frightfully honest brand of whiskey-swigging rock n’roll which manages to be raw and starkly powerful yet exceptionally literate, referencing a host of proto-metal forefathers without sounding derivative, revisionist or superficial.
“Cover Lover/Secret Sin” bursts out the gates with a barbarous, debauched Stooges meets New Bomb Turks and Reverend Horton Heat in a seedy back alley approach, absolutely glowing with fist-pumping, greasy white energy and colored with the manic drunken vocal bursts of one Velcro Lewis, a hairy fireball of explosiveness whose voice LEAPS out the mix. “Can’t You Hear Me Knockin” opts for a decidedly succinct, feral approach that most closely resembles Wayne Kramer and the MC5, all blistering, larynx-shredding vocals and grotesquely overdriven, bloodstained guitars, while “Rockin’& Drinkin’ (Tonight)” exudes a more soulful feel, like Little Richard after a few shots of bourbon covering the Flamin’ Groovies or something. Meanwhile, “They Call Me The Tracker” opens exquisitely with a sparse slide guitar arrangement, perhaps hinting at something more subdued than the brutal rock n’roll of the first four numbers. Alas, the band shifts into high gear, unleashing a HEADSTOMPING boogie inciting, Southern-fried shuffle that sounds like the Allman Brothers playing through the Sonics’ amp setup.
“Neutral Drop” is a real epic, a 9 minute bonafide celebration of wholesome rock goodness that begins in typical Velcro fashion, a rollicking, rousing, kick out the jams type jambalaya of hip swaying down home guitars, toe-tapping percussion, irresistible Stones-esque sexual come-ons and pelvis-thrusting swagger (“Do you want me? Do you need me? I’m growing white with sin, so baby take my hand…”) . Four minutes into the track, and we shift into a sultry yet psychedelic wah wah’d guitar section, a wailing axe serving as the prelude to a more subtle, laid-back groove that recalls a host of ‘70s power outfits, the exploratory lead guitar most closely resembling Cream and Mountain’s more sedate moments. The bass takes a similar tangential passage, blotting the track with swooning soul. “The Velvet Sauce” sounds like it belongs in some biker bar somewhere, erupting out of an ancient jukebox as the soundtrack to bar fights and mercenary pool games. Some really cool instrumentation here too, the track featuring extensive use of the slide guitar, which takes foremost precedent in the mix and infuses the proceedings with considerable swampy ingénue while Velcro’s incendiary diatribe scorches like a maniacal Jerry Lee Lewis.
Production here is GREAT, very sensitive to the fuzz and rawness of vintage recordings like Fun House and Nantucket Sleighride, exuding a jam-in-the-basement type spontaneous live feel that was so indigenous to a magical period in music. While I honestly could have done with a little more creative percussive work in spots (lets have some Ian Paice drum solos in here or something, guys!), the bass and the guitars each contribute an engaging dimension of their own, taking angular paths instead of sounding formulaic. I would have liked to see more use of the Hammond organ too, because the passages featuring them are GREAT, though the organ does admittedly take a backseat in the mix. Otherwise, there is nary a duff track in sight, each one is a definite keeper!
Now how about that lazy, hazy total Blue Cheer groove, Hammond organ and memorable hook of “Evil Woman”, adorned with searing solo and lengthy jam passages? This is a band unafraid to ROCK, unafraid to challenge modern trends and revisit the very foundations of great, unfashionable, unapologetic rock n’roll, before it was infested with self-important posturing and well-coiffed, stylist-prompted visages. Each and every song wears its influences prominently on its sleeve, the band sifting through a diverse array of seminal records and projecting them through a host of disparate, but astoundingly cohesive ditties. This isn’t "stoner rock", this isn’t "desert rock", this isn’t "proto-metal-doom-stoner-acid-rock", this is ass-kicking rock n’roll that should be enthroned on a pedestal, far away from the image-driven Detroit "garage rock" tripe that is popular with all today’s hipsters. This is several times more honest, several times more musical, and several times more genuine. Along with Pearls & Brass. Black Lamb, The Hellacopters and Fireball Ministry, this band is bringing unabashed groove-propelled ROCK back, and you would do well to pay attention."- Nin Chan, Metal Review.com
"We’re constantly told how great bands like AMERICAN DOGS are…Well, let me tell u some’ I’m much more into the sick primal pulsions of big hungry grizzlies…The kind that can make you come like mad…and I sure do like have my fun with nice overpounding dildos that can’t stop vibrating…
Yeah, I know, sometimes it tends to vibrate so smoothly inside of me cuz I’m so wet…I know, everybody’s got their own problems, girls : my pussy gets more wet than the biblical flood whereas you’ve got your periods…
Well, I know, I’m ramblin’ on and on…and the guys from VL100PB start wondering: who the fuck is this chick?? So, here we go… The guys in this band are ol’time dudes , but they sure can deliver the goods when they see a young and nice-looking chick… They smell like ole’whisky and Bourbon, big time (and she keeps on with some tits joke nonsense). This record is a Texas psyche rock killer, divided in 2 parts (more sexual innuendo)
First part would sound like a lost Leather macho man, wandering the filthy streets in his outdated outfit, if the Village People had called their quit…
The second part sounds like the good ol’moonshine that makes spit your own balls through your mouth…let me put it like that : pure fuck-your-daddy-up-the-ass rock n roll that lasts for so long that even Rocco Siffredi would be jealous..
To conclude, as I ve got loads of other shits to do, let’s say that VL play some crazy-ass rock n roll. That’s it.
6.5/10 " - Lea, Psycotic S.T. webzine
"Damn I like stuff like this. First I thought of something like Antiseen, cause the first song pretty much goes in the vein of the kings of filth, but after a few minutes Velcro Lewis And His 100 Proof Band turned out to be a f**ing cool Rock band with lots of Punk and Southern elements and a shitload of dirty lyrics. Sometimes the music remind me a bit of Five Horse Johnson...Slide guitar etc...and that grooves like hell. I mean...Southern Rock made by Yankees...you think this will not work...it works damn f**ing well. I will get drunk now and I defnetly listen to this album while I´m drinkin´...PROST." 7/7 cherries (over the top)" - RB, Daredevil Magazine
"A low down bit of Uriah Heep, a bit of Grand Funk, add in some Delta slide blues with a blue collar and sideburned nod to ‘50’s flavored punkabilly and nasty lyrics about fucking your girlfriend, burning bridges, and never looking back. These are the joys of Velcro Lewis and His 100 Proof Band on their full-length release, Ruin Everything. Most of the 11 tracks punch in and get the hell out at around four minutes or less of shameless hell raising. The production is pretty raw and punchy, not a lot of reverb happening here, and as such it has a very live feel to it. Just these fellers laying it down as it happened, probably all in one take.
The album hits its stride at track four, “They Call Me the Tracker,” a Steppenwolf meets Aerosmith riff monster, a great soundtrack for a summer party. “Neutral Drop” showcases their knack for stretching out and jamming, complete with swirly guitar tones and wide bottom riffs that (while completely unintentionally) aren’t unlike some of Orange Goblin’s instrumental breakdowns. That having been said, these guys aren’t about rehashing generic doom riffs. They dig deeper into the vaults of ‘70’s rock glory than most, and any comparison to the current leagues of stoner gods is purely coincidental. These guys, and judging from the visible age of the members, jump on the rock train at a point on the timeline that probably predates most current bands. Track seven, “Evil Women,” slows it down a notch with another smolderingly heavy blues riff, like a Bad Company and Santana sandwich with an almost undetectable hint of Sabbath spice thrown in. It’s in there, but used with more discretion and finesse than most, it makes for a more impressive overall effect.
The album closes with the instrumental blues rocker, “Steppin’and Sippin’,” which lets the electric organ player blow off a bit off steam, trading licks with the guitar players for what would make a perfect ending to their live set. I’d expect this band to kick much ass live."- Koko Jones,StonerRock.com
"I'm not sick of cute young things in tight black pants yet (check my pulse if I ever seem to be), but I can also make some time for cranked-up rawk with lots of f-words and death threats coming from paunchy, scraggly, middle-aged-looking guys. This Chicago act is as close as you'll ever likely get to seeing five boozers from the too brightly lit corner tavern suddenly hop off the bar stools and cut loose with guitars a-blazing. The new Velcro Lewis and His 100 Proof Band Ruin Everything(Blinded Tiger) is so unpretentious it's almost pretentious, but the band's got the goods: the wicked Zep/Skynyrd slide on "They Call Me the Tracker" raises so many hairs I can almost forgive an earlier reference to playing not just naked Twister but "nudie Risk.""- Monica Kendrick, Chicago reader
"Blue Cheer/Grand Funk rock from a Chicago-based fivesome, with a rocks glass of Cocknoose and a sense of humour. "They Call Me The Tracker" is essential."- Craig Gilbert, New Haven Advocate
"Man, there’s this band from Portland, Maine (where you can see a goddamn moose standing in the road sometimes, and everybody…talks…like…this…) called Swamp Witch Revival, of all things. And they’ve got this guy who looks- well, kinda like Velcro here, orBlaine from Nashville Pussy, who sings, ‘cept it mostly sounds like some kinda hog-slaughtering bellow. And there’s some skinny glam rock guy on guitar, and a drummer that looks like Animal from the Muppet Show, and these two foxy back-up singers in hotpants that look like they were plucked straight off the farm. The band plays this muddy, fuzzy, stoner-blues rock, quite obviously derived from 70’s radio. It’s crazy. It could only come fromMaine. Or so I thought. See, Chi-town drunk n’ roll sensation Velcro Lewis and his 100 Proof band sound a lot like Swamp Witch, only even MORE bleary-eyed, if such a thing is possible. On “Ruin Everything” retro-Cramps-abilly slams head-first into garage rock savagery and stoner-punk metal riff-riots, and the whole thing gets blown all outta proportion by Velcro’s Jeff Clayton-esque hollering, until yr seeing fuckin’ moose and moonshine and shotguns and whatever else. Madness. There is one certifiable, can’t-argue-the-matter CLASSIC here- The immense “They Call Me Tracker”, a menacing cock rock-meets stoner metal blast of sex, stalking, and hi-octane thunder-boogie, and wrapped all around it is a buncha drinkin’, fightin’ and fussin’ Saturday night barn-burners to keep you rollin’ on 'til dawn. Bitchin’. I dunno how a deep-fried Southern noise like this bursts outta Chicago, but it does, baby. Ok, soVel don’t have the redneck chicks in hotpants (yet), but he does have his own bartender ON STAGE, and that’s probably more useful anyway." - Sleazegrinder
"This traveling band of gypsies has donated, with great care, a wonderful slab of southern-influenced hillbilly-hymns for our listening pleasure. These guys have heard HAMMERLOCK, and FIVE HORSE JOHNSON, and pushed the envelope even further, incorporating some 70's influences into some tracks, like "Neutral Drop" which has a great guitar gallup 'bout halfway thru, then goes int a slow psych-influenced guitar heavy rant. Other tracks like "Covert Lover/Secret Sin" with a pretty standard punkabilly song structure and feel, but done Velcro style. "Broke and Sober" hits with more raw southern geetar and paints a pictrue of traveling through the Bible Belt and stopping for refreshment at the bar with the most rusty primered pickup trucks in the dirt parking lot. "Evil Woman"......Velcro lets his hair down!?! with a great falsetto vocal to go with Velcro's gruff, big-man-on-the-mountain voice. I like it, a lot. As Velcro himself put it, the disc is" all over the map musically, but it came out to his liking"....and to my liking as well. Now, if you are a by-the-numbers-metal-only type, this may not be your cup of tea. The guitar playing of Hunger and Rocco drips with so much magic finger stylings, these guys have got some great talent, and as yet are unsigned! Some of you record-industry-people better get off of your asses and grab this one quick. By the way, these guys have some of the best facial hair since '72...."- Manic Mechanic, Peacedogman.com
"It’s Southern rock from insane Yankees. It’s deer-huntin’ music. It’s the kind of shit your dad won’t admit he used to rock out to when he was your age. It’s Schlitz-rock. In short, it’s just good old-fashioned nasty, drunken, loud rock ’n’ roll that doesn’t mean a goddamn thing. "- Jim Knipfel, NYPress
"“Genius” is a word that has been cheapened and violated by overuse and indiscretionary bestowment. However, cheapness and violation can be artforms in and of themselves, and within these floor sticky-ing mediums artistes can rise to the level of brilliance that earns them that lofty title. On this seminal (and semen-al) slice of audio pie VELCRO LEWIS AND HIS 100 PROOF BAND have achieved that elusive level of artistry. The ominous bass of Halden Spoonwood, the thunderous and lightningish guitars of Phil Hunger and Paully Rocco, the cowbellodic drumming of Bill Roe and the husky, curdling vocals of Velcro Lewis form a beast with five backs, gloriously climaxing in a daisy chain of Rock, redefining what it means to be a man in post-industrial America and reconfiguring what it means to be a woman in their vicinity. The punctuation on “Rockin’ and Drinkin’ (tonight)” is testament alone to this band’s greatness. With such a title one need not even listen to the song to appreciate its magnificence, and perhaps one shouldn’t. To call a song like “Neutral Drop” epic is to insult the band with understatement. The song is longer than all the Lord of the Rings movies combined, and better. It is rare that an album can make me love. It is rarer that an album can make me hate. But on “Ruin Everything” VELCRO LEWIS AND HIS 100 PROOF BAND have done the rarest of rarities. They have overcome me with waves of shame and nausea. To paraphrase the great Gayle Sayers, "I love VELCRO LEWIS AND HIS 100 PROOF BAND, and I want you to love them too. " They are truly the Brian Piccolos of rock!" – Jake Austen, Roctober Magazine
7 inch split with the Dutchmen reviews
"I have to say... both these bands just rock. They bring back the old low-fi rock and punk together here. Just a wonderful split. The Dutchmen just has it all there - the classic rock/bluesy feel, the Stooges energy, and just needs more than one song to keep me satisfied. Velcro Lewis has the same description I mentioned for the Dutchmen, only with them, I get a more rockabilly feel. I love the lyrics "I can't get enough of your tanline." I love it! Just good, fun rock n' roll all around here. Recommended."-Bulletproofpopemobile
"...the perfect accessory noise for a beat-up bodied pick-up with a monsterous motor that you'd take out when hunting racoons and gulping down Richard's Wild Irish Rose or something even a bit more lethal."-DM, Smashin' Transistors
"In the lineup somewhere after Mick Collins, Rudie Ray Moore, and Andre Williams, Velcro Lewis shakes and cruises through some rough-voiced R & B punk. Dirty and filthy." - Razorcake
"Velcro Lewis' track here is heavy in a MOTORHEAD-ish kinda way… Lotsa Moustaches and spectacles, but ain't that what people want these days? "- Rich Drippings, Horizontal Action
"...Velcro Lewis reminds me more of The Glasspack with its swamp blues swing beat approach, vocals are reminiscent of a fifth of whiskey, and I can hear that same kind of Hooker and Heat influence much like Dirty and the boys (Glasspack). Good feels, deep southern blues rooted goodness throughout their tune. There is some good use of feedback in the impressive chopped lead as well. More of a Fred Sonic Smith approach with a tinge of Hendrix ingenuity."- Rob Wrong, Stonerrock.com
"...With a song titled 'Miami Beach Money Sucker', you know it’s gotta be good! It’s sweaty, greasy, raw rock and roll not all that different from the Dictators. Good stuff."--Ian MacDougall, Pee Pee/Now Wave webzine
"this band of ugly, drunken misfits might just be the band that scares the living hell out of upstanding tavern patrons across the great state of Illinois."-AMP magazine
"the 100 proof band play the rock your dad tried to make you listen to when you came home with your first "godawful noise" punk record. drenched in whiskey, sweat and bar-b-que they summon the sounds of a Pensacola biker bar being torn to the ground from the inside."- MPShows.com
"...all the things that make Friday nights worth getting drunk for - Cris K., Gods Of Music.com
"velcro lewis, the 'Chicago Mad Man', plays every show with his blazing meta-metal 100 proof band like its his last."- the Onion