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Steve Conte and the Crazy Truth - Steve Conte and the Crazy Truth

  by John Clarkson

published: 8 / 11 / 2009

Steve Conte and the Crazy Truth - Steve Conte and the Crazy Truth
Label: Varese Vintage
Format: CD


Riveting rock 'n' roll/punk on debut album from current New York Dolls' guitarist's other project, Steve Conte and the Half Truth

Steve Conte has had a productive year. His regular band, the New York Dolls, with whom he has played guitar in the place of the late Johnny Thunders since they reformed in 2004, released their second comeback album, ‘Cause I Sez So’, and have been touring hard. Conte has, however, found the time as well to fit in the recording and release of the debut album of his other project, Steve Conte and the Crazy Truth, in which he both plays lead guitar and takes main vocals. The eponymous debut album of the trio, which also consists of Conte’s high school friend Lee “Leeko” Kostrinsky on bass and Phil Stewart on drums, builds on from where the New York Dolls left off. The Crazy Truth favour a swaggering and breathless rock ‘n’ roll/punk sound with most of the eleven songs on the record lasting less than three minutes, and the whole of this refreshingly brief and straight-to-the point album having run its course in little over half an hour. They, however, keep things versatile enough for it to remain constantly riveting. ‘Texas T’ swings between being a slinky jazz piece and a rumbling brass-tinged garage rock number. On ‘The Goods are Odd’, Dolls vocalist David Johansen trickles in and out on harmonica, while ‘Busload of Hope’, which features backing vocals from Catherine Russell who has worked with David Bowie and Nicki Richards who has appeared with Madonna, is a slow-paced and sweltering blues ballad. Lyrically Steve Conte also flourishes and, like the great, much-missed Phil Lynott, for all his rock ‘n’ roll brashness, also proves himself to be a sensitive poet of the streets. “It don’t go away, the troubles, the bars, the whores,” he sings against a glorious assault of guitars on one of the album’s stand-out tracks, ‘The Truth Ain’t Pretty’. ‘Busload of Hope’ tells of a group of card and slot machine addicts and other assorted misfits heading out to the gambling mecca of Atlantic City. On ‘The Goods are Odd’ Conte meanwhile concludes, “Drag queens, drama queens, future ex-porn stars/We’re all looking for lovers with beautiful scars.” The world that Steve Conte and the Half Truth examine is by Steve Conte’s own admission far from beautiful and often ugly. They, however, look at with both adrenalin and great poignancy.

Track Listing:-
1 This Is the End
2 Gypsy Cab
3 Texas T
4 The Goods Are Odd
5 Get Off
6 The Truth Ain't Pretty
7 Her Highness
8 Busload of Hope
9 Strumpet-Hearted Monkey Girl
10 Indie Girl
11 Junk Planet

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