Hanoi Rocks – “Self Destruction Blues” (1982)

Man, I really like me some Hanoi Rocks!  Though Finnish, these dumpster-divers migrated to London, where the seedy underbelly became their pillow.  Hanoi Rocks were either fearless or clueless, but their records were all the more interesting for it.  Self Destruction Blues was the band’s fourth album; comprised of previously recorded material (singles, B-sides, and such).  However, none of the tracks on Self Destruction Blues had appeared on any of Hanoi Rocks’ previous full-length LPs.  The songs on Self Destruction Blues were a hit and miss lot, each song a house of cards teetering on the brink of total collapse.  There’s something almost charming about Michael Monroe’s tendency to sing out of tune.  The boys were skin and bones, with pin-cushion veins and Maybeline brains.  Influences were many (or is that just the cluelessness?).  The Stones via Exile On Main Street seems a good place to start.  The overall sense of impending disaster hovers over the record, and indeed disaster did await Hanoi Rocks, as they lost their (future) drummer in a drunk driving accident caused by Vince Neil.  (‘Tis a shame that incident was their most newsworthy story on this side of the Atlantic.  Hanoi Rocks never made it big in the States.)  This particular bag of smack contains choice cuts like Love’s An Injection, Café Avenue, Nothing New, Desperados, and Dead By X-Mas.  My score: B+

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