Tuesday, October 03, 2017
Junkyard - “Hands Off”
I heard a new (great) song by Junkyard on Little Steven’s Underground Garage the other day and whew … holy late eighties flashback, Batman. Back then, Axl Rose once wore a Junkyard shirt in a video or photo shoot and suddenly the stock in that band took off. I found their debut album a letdown and the follow-up even more of a drag (and if I recall correctly, the sophomore release had some sort of a Steve Earle contribution*.) But one song, that one glorious song on Junkyard’s debut is a beauty.
The opening chords of “Hands Off” let you know it might be something special and the Southern rock/LA glam mix is intriguing. Sure, the singer sounds sub-Axl and the chorus loses its luster after the second round, but the guitar solos are Skynyrd-worthy and when you’re about to give the song three stars and a “B” for effort, it goes into a spoken soliloquy about infidelity and broken friendships and a Woody Allen (!) namecheck and a riff about “a really understanding guy (who) just listens” and a “goddamn” interjection that bumps up the effort to an “A” and leaves this tune as a brilliant five star recording that for me wrapped up rock ‘n’ roll eighties in a bow.
*I went back to my mid-nineties zine roots - before every fact was on the Internet - in this opening paragraph and did no research regarding the Earle/Junkyard or Rose/Junkyard connections. Sometimes its more fun to work off of memory than Wikipedia. I’m the guy who’s always looking up crap on my phone during bar conversations. The “well, actually” act must wear quickly, right?