Hollywood Brats – Hollywood Brats (Cherry Red)

Hollywood Brats

It’s easy to dismiss the Hollywood Brats as just some British cheapo rip-off of The New York Dolls. Both dressed in outrageous – and frequently androgynous – clothes; both recorded debuts in 1973 (the Brats’ album getting shelved until 1980) and both played streetwise glam-rock that would prove to be a sonic precursor to punk. However, the Brats were likely just synthesizing the same influences at the same time as their NY counterparts – welding their own bad attitudes to the visceral pleasures of Chuck Berry, The Stones, girl-groups and garage rock misfits in an era of overblown stadium rock pomposity. Their only album, recorded in London’s famed Olympic Studios just a few months after the release of the first Dolls album, may not have opened many doors for them back in the day, but 40 years on it sounds amazing. “Another School Day” and a tarted up cover of “Then He Kissed Me” (with original gender roles intact) were good ol’ glam fun, but on wildly careening tracks like “Chez Maximes”, “Nightmare”, and especially the closing “Sick On You”, the band pushes the envelope as far as any other proto-punk bands of their era.

The 2014 edition isn’t remastered, has no new songs or updated liner notes – just a new layout. So, if you already own an older version there’s no need to update. However, if you’re new to the band, you should check this out immediately.