Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Review: Ramouns - Rockaway Beach Boys
There aren't many free clues regarding the nature of this release, with nothing provided but the CD, liner notes and a cryptic one-sheet that describes a tall tale account of members of the Ramones and Beach Boys recording an album together following a happenstance meeting in 1980. Said album was then allegedly discovered “in a cave, deep in the East German pampa,” and is precisely what is presented here by the Rämouns on Rockaway Beach Boys.
What the Rämouns do is play Beach Boys songs in the same style as the Ramones. And with the same clothes and hair as the Ramones. But since the Ramones already played many songs in a similar style as the Beach Boys (albeit with a “1-2-3-4!” launch), the Rämouns are essentially a derivative of a derivative.
That’s not to say Rockaway Beach Boys isn't an enjoyable listen by any means, though. It’s extremely fun hearing what the Ramones playing “Help Me, Rhonda” may have sounded like, along with fantastic versions of “I Get Around” and “In My Room.” Some of the Beach Boys classics had already been envisaged and morphed into punk songs like the Queers' take on "Little Honda" and Pennywise doing "I Get Around," but they still sound great here.
There’s little else that really needs to (and even can) be said about this release. In terms of originality, Rockaway Beach Boys is a bust, but it’s hard to argue with songs executed so flawlessly as those by the mysterious Rämouns.