The Hollywood Brats – Sick On You (Cherry Red)

I’ve already reviewed a previous version of this 1973 album over here, so I won’t get too long winded over it. Sufficed to say it’s a lost classic, combining influences from The British Invasion and Chess Records with decadence and rebellion, to create something that fit with the contemporary glam scene, but also resembled punk three years before The Ramones, The Clash and Sex Pistols released their debut albums. The newest edition of this album is timed to coincide with the American release of singer Andrew Matheson’s book on The Hollywood Brats, also named Sick On You after their most electrifying song. One of this edition’s main selling points is that the album’s been remastered for the first time since its original CD release in 1994, giving it the “oomph” your ears expect in 2016. The other big news is the second disc which adds 15 bonus tracks to the original 11-track album. The majority are studio outtakes from 1973-’74 and it’s great to hear a few prime-era Brats originals (“Son Of The Wizard” especially), and a handful of covers (Kinks, Chuck Berry, blues numbers) given a proper high-energy rock’n’roll throttling. There’s also a few songs from an attempted 1980 Brats reunion (they were working on an album called Hung Like Horses – classy), but they’re sterilized by overproduction. The informative liner notes include insights on the bonus material, excerpts from a 2012 interview with Andrew Matheson, top 10 lists from each band member, and great photos. My only complaint is that I miss the original album’s glammy cover photo. Sure those feather boas and teased hair made the band look like a junior division New York Dolls (accusations they’ve always had to refute) but, unlike the reissue’s cover, it was colorful and it had personality, which is pretty much the Hollywood Brats in a nutshell.