I've been an obsessed hard rock & heavy metal fan and collector since the early 1980s. If it's got a good guitar riff and attitude, I'm in.
Jones Street – Out Of The Gutter
Eonian Records, 2022
Genre: Sleaze/Glam Metal
10 Tracks, Run Time: 47:57
Jones Street was a five-piece hard rock band from L.A. (by way of San Diego) who prowled the Sunset Strip during the early 90s, trying to make a name for themselves in the extremely crowded Hollywood hard rock scene. Their heavy sleaze-rock sound and high powered live shows opening for the likes of Ratt, Warrant, and Slaughter began to attract interest from high powered management and record labels, but unfortunately they came to the party just a little too late, and time was not on their side. Virtually overnight, Grunge Rock swept in and hair metal became yesterday's news. Jones Street tried swimming against the tide for a while, but finally hung it up in 1994 without ever getting a shot at the brass ring.
In response to renewed interest in "lost" Sunset Strip bands in the 21st century, a Jones Street album, Dancin' With The Devil (comprised of tracks recorded at various sessions between 1991 and '94), finally saw the light of day in 2008. The limited edition CD quickly sold out and became a pricey collectors' item on the secondary market.
In 2022 the fine folks at Eonian Records, an indie label that specializes in rescuing and re-issuing long-lost hard rock and metal albums from days gone by, are giving Jones Street a new chance at life. Out Of The Gutter is a freshly remastered, spiffed up reissue of Dancin' With The Devil, with one additional "new" track that wasn't on the 2008 release. Fans of hard-edged glam metal like Slave To The Grind-era Skid Row, Love/Hate, or Shotgun Messiah will definitely want to add this primo slice of nastiness to their collections!
"Dancing With The Devil"
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The tracks on Out Of The Gutter are in a different order than on the 2008 release, but "Dancin' With The Devil" maintains its spot as the opening track, and rightfully so, because it's a frickin' monster. Vocalist Shawn Crosby's viciously confident snarl recalls Jason McMaster (WatchTower/Dangerous Toys) and Steven David De Long (Sweet F.A.) and the guitar duo of Jonny Jones and Mickey Perez are a formidable team, laying down some serious barbed-wire riffing.
After that fist-to-the-face opener, "Tell Me Why" slows things down with a slight Southern rock feel, though it picks up speed as it goes along. The pounding "What Comes Around" is full of Bon Scott-era AC/DC swagger and is my second favorite track on the album after "Dancin'..."
Every glam-metal band of the era had to have a big, polished, soulful ballad, and Jones Street's entry into that sweepstakes, "Thieves Of Love," is a quality slow jam with just the right amount of edge to keep it from going over the line into wimp-dom, reminiscent of Shotgun Messiah's "Living Without You" or Junkyard's "Simple Man."
"Take Your Love" and "Razor To The Wrist" are both straight-up flash metal goodness that will have you throwin' the devil horns and getting your air guitar on in no time, then the mellower vibes of "When It All Comes Down" gives listeners a brief chance to catch their breath before they get pummeled by the scream-along anthems "We Won't Be Forgotten" and the badass, punk fueled "F*ck Authority."
Out Of The Gutter's "bonus track" is "On The Edge," a demo from 1990 whose recording quality is noticeably cheaper than the well-produced tracks that preceded it, but it's a decent enough song that ends the disc on a properly obnoxious, middle-fingers-in-the-air note.
Nit-pickers and O.C.D. addled collectors should be aware that two tracks from the Dancin' With The Devil CD are not included on this disc, and therefore they remain exclusive to that release: "Out On Skid Row" (which was apparently not a Jones Street song, but a track by another band that Shawn Crosby sang for) and the silly, foul-mouthed sound collage "The Word F*CK" (which was mere filler anyway). I don't think the absence of those two tracks will be a deal breaker for anyone but the most obsessed, gotta-have-everything hoarder types, but I offer the information as a public service nonetheless.
"What Comes Around"
Summing It Up
I missed out on Jones Street when Dancin' With The Devil was released back in '08. I eventually got caught up on them in the years since via YouTube and now I'm glad to finally have a hard copy of this album on my shelf. Jones Street definitely had chops and attitude to spare, and I think if they'd come along a few years earlier, they might have been able to land that elusive record deal and done some serious damage. Timing is everything, and clearly Jones Street had none... but thanks to Eonian Records, modern day fans can now discover this sleazy hard rockin' gem for themselves at an affordable price. Horns up, way up!
To snag a copy of Out Of The Gutter, visit Eonian Records before this limited edition is gone again!
"Take Your Love"
© 2022 Keith Abt