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The Dimestore Haloes
Long Ride To Nowhere
Pelado Records

The Players:
Jimmy Reject – Drums
Marcus Arvan – Bass
Chaz Matthews – Vocals, Guitar
Nick Fitt – Guitar

Complaints Dept. - The lyric references to Rolling Stones and New York Dolls have given irresponsible critics a cheap, easy comparison to punch in. With that logic, they sound just like James Dean. In spirit and energy, the Dolls thing is a forgivable stretch. Sonically, they are more akin to the Dead Boys. In no way do they sound, walk, shoot, or smell like the Stones.

There’s one of each kind of guy in this band. One rockabilly, one new wave mod, one glamboy, and one biker punk. It’s like the American version of Young Ones without the hippy. Maybe he’s in the current line-up, I guess there was a shake-up. Long Ride To Nowhere is unashamedly messy, off-key, out of time garage rock lacking in production. Yup, this is rock n’ roll that’ll slap the horn-rims off your Weezer loving, trend following face, you name-branded sheep. Ooops, was that out loud? While they lack the locker room humor of Loose Lips, and the cartoon goofiness of The Demonics, they make up for it in maturity and not being goofiness…wait, those are good things to be lacking in.

The hammer goes down from the start of "Have You Ever Been So Low" with bluesy Sun Records style guitar, presumably provided by the now-absent Nick Fitt. Chunky rhythms and papery drums underneath the snotty singing. "Good Times" drives with revved up energy that buzzes the speakers. Straight-ahead delivery with a story that puts you in the backseat for the enjoyable ride. Matthews has a feel for where the playing is headed, and shovels a shitload of words in before it gets there. His phrasing overlaps neatly over the guitar-work. The smoother highway of "Crash And Burn" lends the credo, "We could follow our heroes to the places they died. Go underground until we’re back in style." The lines are spit out with sleaze.

The fast-paced "Death Is A Star" bitterly celebrates the connection of fame and dirt with the sweetest step down vocals in years. The nice exploration of glamour includes all the grit and irony. Fuzzed out guitar tones injecting venom into the mix. "Wreck With Me" is the trashy slow-down presented with such earnest that Chaz’s voice cracks. It’s a real nice touch, and being Rock ‘n’ Roll, they leave it in where it belongs. The bass hums in muddled tones that blend into one sorrowful pass.

Had a mistaken lyric moment on the high-octane "That Girl’s In Love With Death." I thought she was in love with dad. And yes, I like my version better. The singers rush over the music in trying to beat them to the end of this drag race. The Haloes succeed in the biker movie music The Demonics were attempting without trying to do such. The Peter Pan ethic of "Stay Young" is a question of priorities in an eternal theme. Re-iterating the "You either crash and burn or you learn how to fly" philosophy stated previously. It slows down like the concert finale to send you out with a positive message. Hug your friends and sing along on the way to the car. Instant classic "Kids Want Some Action" has Chaz spitting out smart ass words as fast as his little lips can carry him, "Forget your promises of satisfaction. The kids don’t care about your market saturation." Reminds me of The Vibrators. I especially appreciate the nod to Youth Brigade’s old man bars. The stories are identifiable and suitable for everyday use in your home or job situation. Musically it’s energetic and applicable to the blue-collar everyman. Up yours, corporate rock!

On the blue-collar everyman scale: one being the sailor and ten being construction worker, Long Ride To Nowhere rates a nine: Indian chief!

— Ewan Wadharmi

Track Listing:

  1. Have You Ever Been So Low?
  2. Good Times Gone?
  3. Crash And Burn
  4. Death Is A Star
  5. Wreck With Me
  6. That Girl’s In Love With Death
  7. Stay Young
  8. Kids Want Some Action

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