Classic Album From The Rockbrat Collection: The Road Vultures – Ride


To the untuned ear of the collective majority, the Road Vultures were just another glam looking rock band who rode on the tails of the pretentious late 80’s/early 90’s heavy metal movement. They were in fact, one of the most criminally ignored rock n roll bands of the 90’s. The blind majority who quickly dismissed the band as some lame cheese-metal outfit sure missed the point! The Road Vultures were in fact a punk band, and at the forefront of the 90’s NY punk resurgence which we know today (despite being formed in LA, they were predominantly New York based). They drew their raw influences from the Dead Boys, Johnny Thunders and the Stooges, and arrived at a sound somewhere between all three (and hey, this was before it was fashionable to namedrop said bands chump). Released in 1995, ‘Ride’ was the Vultures second and final album, following hot on the heels of 1993’s ‘Fire It Up’, which was surely the album the Dead Boys never made (and incidentally featured Cheetah Chrome on guitar). ‘Ride’ was again based around the writing and singing talents of Alan and Kevin K, whose full and weighty melodies were driven by unfettered, strong guitar and elevated by their lilting vocals. Described at the time as ‘fire and brimstone guitars with Beatles-esque harmonies’ is a fairly accurate assessment. Each of the songs has genuine depth and character, and a distinct NYC street vibe. The K brothers are truly talented songwriters who create rock n roll with an uncomplicated charm. The combination of trashy riffs, heavy on the melody and layered with those soothing vocals – man the appeal is irresistible, you just can’t help tapping your foot or getting up and dancing. Amongst an impressive array of songs on ‘Ride’, highlights are many. ‘Rosalene’ is a classic mid-tempo rocker with soulful vocals and a chorus with real radio appeal. Hit single anyone ? ‘Scissors’ again gets me movin’. The riff is raucous and the tale is one of sweet debauchery. ‘Slammin’ is vintage NY sleaze with it’s swaggering riff and sauntering vocals producing the right party combination. I could spend all day searching for superlatives for ‘Ride’, but instead I’ll wind up by saying that the Road Vultures produced two consummate melodic punk rock records of immense richness which like fine wine are getting better and better as the years go by. The music of Alan and Kevin K has enriched my life over the last few years, and I have little doubt will do the same for you. The best trash rock band since the New York Dolls, bar none. In an equitable world, ‘Ride’ should be gleaming on someone’s corporate wall, instead I’ll leave it to your devices to discover, like the lost treasure it is.

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