Their impact was formidable, and it wasn’t just in the narrow field of punk. The Ramones’ attitude and one-note aesthetic managed to infiltrate all manner of music and media, giving credence to the concept of incessant consistency… critics and fashion be damned. They embodied a purity of essence that was admired by die-hards, yet simultaneously second-guessed by those who quickly tired of the “latest” trends, all while questing for the “newest” ones. Throughout it all, The Ramones stood static… with a dogged, pit-bull tenacity they took to their collective graves. God bless ‘em. Here are a few bands that took a cue or two from the masters. Shonen Knife aren’t in the same league as The Ramones, but that didn’t stop them from paying tribute to their influences. What they lack in power they make up for in simplicity, but the end result is a pop/punk-lite hybrid that skateboards around Blondie’s new-wave netherworld more than The Ramones’ hard garage roots. When it comes to brutal simplicity, however, The Headbangers take the cake. Counting off 1-2-3-4 on virtually every take – often two or three times a tune – The Headbangers are so monotonously, consistently, relentlessly dedicated to their source of inspiration, they manage to make The Ramones themselves sound positively technicolor in the process. Their riffage is powerful and dynamic, though, while their lyrics are maddeningly sophmoronic (note: not a real word). They’re bombastically entertaining (for a while), but what they’re missing is that 50s born, surf/pop heart that’s always been at the core of The Ramones’ musical philosophy. That’s where The Hotlines come in. Purporting to mix the music of The Ramones with the harmonies of The Beach Boys, The Return Of… The Hotlines has fun with the idea, even if it they only tap the concept instead of immersing themselves in the extremes. Pop and punk mixed with punk and pop, this EP expands on neither idea outside of what’s expected, but it still works for fans of the genre(s). If you’re a confirmed purest, we’ve got plenty of the real deal in the archives, including the 3CD set Bonus Tracks 1976-1984 (HERE), Ramones, Leave Home, Rocket To Russia, Road To Ruin, It’s Alive, End Of The Century, Pleasant Dreams, Subterranean Jungle & Too Tough To Die (the bonus track reissue series, HERE), the boys’ covers album, Acid Eaters (HERE), Live January 7, 1978 At The Palladium, NYC (HERE), Joey’s Christmas Spirit… In My House (HERE), and their final show, We’re Outta Here! (HERE)… as well as a MOJO Tribute (HERE). Go to Amazon to get Shonen Knife (in a variety of covers, HERE), The Headbangers (out of stock, HERE) and The Hotlines (vinyl only, HERE).
SHONEN KNIFE Osaka Ramones – A Tribute To Ramones
Blitzkrieg Bop (2:14)
Rock ‘N’ Roll High School (2:23)
We Want The Airwaves (3:28)
She’s The One (2:19)
Rockaway Beach (2:09)
Sheena Is A Punk Rocker (3:07)
Psycho Therapy (2:30)
The KKK Took My Baby Away (2:34)
We’re A Happy Family (2:35)
Chinese Rocks (2:28)
Beat On The Brat (2:36)
THE HEADBANGERS Meet The Headbangers
Baby My Girl (2:34)
I Know Is True (2:14)
Back My Place (2:18)
Why I Wanna Know (2:08)
Dream Baby (2:45)
I Wanna Stay In My Home (3:49)
I Gotta Way (2:26)
Gladden You (3:07)
Planet Of 18.104.22.168 (1:15)
Ain’t Had No Fun (1:55)
Glad Not To Be You (2:12)
Get Lost (2:55)
Ready For Fun (2:26)
You Don’t Know How To Play Rock ‘N’ Roll (2:14)
THE HOTLINES The Return Of… The Hotlines
Song For All The Girls (3:17)
Leave It Behind (2:51)
Bye Bye Baby (2:22)
Cross My Heart (3:23)
Shake It (2:57)
Go Little Ghoulie (2:33)
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