Long before punk rock became corporate property to be spoon fed down the throats of zombied generation X’ers, it was known pure and simple as rock n roll. A time when all the guitar player had to do was just plug in, and out flew melodies and riffs played with feel – real gut fire rock n roll. One of the best rock n roll bands in the biz was the Heartbreakers, led of course by Johnny Thunders, with Walter Lure riding shotgun on vocals and second guitar. Walter acquired the nickname of Waldo during the Heartbreakers first tour of France, and for the last twenty years has continued to play his Chuck Berry induced rock n roll to a largely icy reception, caring little for musical trends and fashions. Hence the reason why ‘Rent Party’ remains such an accomplished record. For when the Waldos entered Coyote Studios in Brooklyn, NY, 1994, they did so armed with the dozen best songs representing Walter’s twenty odd year career, some being released for the first time here on this record. Like fine wine these songs had been maturing in the Lure cellar, and as ‘Rent Part’ demonstrates, 1994 was some year ! All killer and no filler. ‘Cry Baby’ is the ideal opener. Talk about one swaggering piece of bump n grind tuneage, baby its all here ! A big trashy riff fused with some tasty harmonica, splintered with Walter’s sharp lead breaks and some she-bop piano on the chorus – voila, rock n fucking roll ! Song one and you are already out of your seat and dancing in the aisle !!! Walter tackles the lead vocals on ‘Love That Kills’, a mainstay since his days with the Heroes back in 1980. Again, it’s a total rave-up power orgy and melodies abound. ‘Flight’, another stunning number plucked from the Heroes days is indeed a dee-lite, with it’s melodically beautiful riff and addictive chorus. If I’ve got the gun pressed to my head, I’ll have to say that ‘Never Get Away’ gets the nod as my personal fave, for no other reason than the cat-fighting guitars which melodically duel and blow me away every time, although ‘Sorry’ runs a close second. In fact I could rave on about the worth of every tune on this record, for they are all exceptional. It’s fair to say that Walter Lure often played second fiddle to Johnny Thunders, yet ‘Rent Party’ finally confirmed that Lure was indeed his own man, who could indeed create memorable rock n roll on par with anything penned from the classic 70’s NY rock era. If this sucker ain’t in your collection next to your Stones and Chuck Berry records then it damn well should be !!!
Oh, Andy Shernoff reminded me some time back ‘That’s Michael Monroe wailing away there on the harmonica!”