New Jersey Stage logo
New Jersey Stage Menu


Makin Waves’ Record of the Week: ‘The Vice Rags’


By Bob Makin

originally published: 01/03/2018

Makin Waves’ Record of the Week: ‘The Vice Rags’

 

Makin Waves’ Record of the Week: ‘The Vice Rags’

An all-star veteran ensemble assembled from the embers of Mercy Circle, Mars Needs Women, Kid With Man Head, Acid, The Blakes, and Readymade Breakup, The Vice Rags are makin waves with their self-titled six-song debut EP. 

 

The Vice Rags are an all-star veteran ensemble assembled from the embers of Mercy Circle, Mars Needs Women, Kid With Man Head, Acid, The Blakes, and Readymade Breakup. As The Vice Rags, vocalist-guitarist Paul Rosevear and drummer Joe Chyb, who grew up together in North Brunswick, and lead guitarist Jack Roberts and bassist-vocalist Gay Elvis, who grew up together in Hillsborough, have banded together to pay loving tribute to the ’50s and ’60s sounds that influenced the ’70s and’80s styles on which they were raised and led to big noises of their own.



 
Advertise with New Jersey Stage for $50-$100 per month, click here for info



Recorded by Parlor Mob/gods great Paul Ritchie at Insidious Sound Studio in Neptune, the Asbury Park/Jersey City-based outfit’s self-titled six-song EP kicks off with “Shut Up & Love Me,” which is what Elvis Presley might have sounded like if he stepped  into Sun Studios today rather than in 1954. The blend of punk and rockabilly is more its own thing than punkabilly, kind of like The Cramps. The many treats of this tasty track include sweet rolling bass lines from Gay Elvis and Jerry Lee-like breathless vocals by Rosevear. 

“The Vice Rags” takes a left turn at “Pretty in Pink,” “St. Elmo’s Fire,” and “The Breakfast Club” with the edgy love song, “One Heart,” featuring buzz-saw guitars and a variety of atmospherics that would sound good in a new movie. Fans of early U2, Echo & the Bunnymen,  Psychedelic Furs and The Clash will enjoy this track.

Mixing things up nicely, The Vice Rags tap into New York Dolls and very early Aerosmith for “Jersey Boy.” The spirited romp pleads with an ex who bailed to BK that she is much better off back home in the arms of a “Jersey Boy.” If Bruce Springsteen had remained more influenced by Robert Gordon than Woody Guthrie, he might have written something like the Clash-like, Tom Petty-tinged rocker “Out on the Street,” which makes a nice two-for with the Boss’ “Out in the Street” from 1980’s “The River.”

The tasty “Alright by Me” follows with a nod to the British Invasion, particularly The Stones and The Hollies. This track features the record’s best lyrics: “Well, the fashions change, but the places all look the same. They tell of a thousand sorrows in a lifetime of rain.” Whether directly or not, there is a bit of a harmonically folky Byrds influence on here too that is surprising given much of the players’ hard-rock pedigree, yet its stunning because their collective chops pull off the rich vocals and chamber-style accompaniment, which is strengthened by Ritchie on acoustic guitar. 

“The Vice Rags” closes with a sassy stab at the Little Richard classic “Lucille” that also pays homage to Paul McCartney, as well as Joe Strummer. I imagine this will be a hoot live on Jan. 12 at Rockwood Music Hall. They also will be playing March 24 at The Saint with The Wreaths. 

Bob Makin is the reporter for www.MyCentralJersey.com/entertainment and a former managing editor of The Aquarian Weekly, which launched this column in 1988. Contact him at makinwaves64@yahoo.com.  Like Makin Waves at www.facebook.com/makinwavescolumn.




 
Advertise with New Jersey Stage for $50-$100 per month, click here for info




FEATURED EVENTS

ART | COMEDY | DANCE | MUSIC | THEATRE | COMMUNITY


Marc Broussard – Carencro 20th Anniversary Tour

Monday, March 04, 2024 @ 7:30pm
The Vogel
99 Monmouth Street, Red Bank, NJ 07701
category: music

Click here for full description


The Life & Music of George Michael

Tuesday, March 05, 2024 @ 8:00pm
Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC)
30 North Van Brunt Street, Englewood, NJ 07631
category: music

Click here for full description


HYPERCUBE

Tuesday, March 05, 2024 @ 7:30pm
William Paterson University - Shea Recital Hall 101
300 Pompton Rd, Wayne, NJ 07470
category: music

Click here for full description


Click here for more events

Listings are available for $10 and included with our banner ad packages.

Click here for more info.







 

LATEST NEWS


TCNJ's Center for the Arts presents Las Cafeteras

(TRENTON, NJ) -- The College of New Jersey's Center for the Arts presents Las Cafeteras on Wednesday, March 6 at 8:00pm in the Kendall Main Stage Theater. The LA Times describes Las Cafeteras as "uniquely Angeleno mishmash of punk, hip-hop, beat music, cumbia and rock... live, they/re magnetic."


The Princeton Folk Music Society presents Ruth Wyand




Skyline Theatre Company presents Reflections: Ireland In Song and Story




Music in the Somerset Hills presents a concert at the Community of St. John Baptist


Click here for more event previews







New Jersey Stage

© 2024 by Wine Time Media, LLC
PO Box 811, Belmar, NJ 07719
info@newjerseystage.com

Nobody covers the Arts
throughout the Garden State
like New Jersey Stage!


Images used on this site have been sent to us from publicists, artists, and PR firms. If there is a problem with the rights to any image, please contact us and we will look into the matter.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Threads, and on our RSS feed


Art | Comedy | Dance | Film | Music | Theatre | Ad Rates | About Us | Pitch a Story | Links | Radio Shows | Privacy Policy