Alleycatz: ‘Privates Vices, Public Pleasures’
PRIVATES VICES, PUBLIC PLEASURES
Released on May 1, 2023 (Alleycatz)
This EP truly epitomises the term “One Man Band” as all the instruments and vocals are handled by Joseph James as well as all the songwriting, production duties, and presumably the self-release and subsequent promotional aspects to boot! All that and – according to their press release – being on the requisite “mission to bring the fun back into heavy metal” which we’ve all heard countless times before of course, and is often a statement that is doomed to failure from the start.
“She’s A Vixen” doesn’t exactly explode into life to cement any “fun” aspect, but steadily builds into a more than decent sleazy song with suitably instant chorus but an ever so slightly grunge “feel” to it, mainly courtesy of the distinct vocal growl employed during the verses. “Big City Girls” is a radio ready, chorus driven track that wouldn’t have been out of place on Faster Pussycat’s brilliant second album Wake Me When It’s Over, which is probably the highest compliment I could ever pay it. “Do It For Rock ‘n’ Roll” pretty much sounds like you would expect with that title — a well-executed but throwaway rocker that doesn’t really linger long in the memory.
“Stage Door” is a stand-out raunchy cracker, complete with salacious lyrics and a very neat guitar solo in the middle that only adds to the overall late night, post-gig atmosphere deftly created throughout the song. The EP closes with an extremely faithful, almost reverential cover of the Hanoi Rocks classic “Cutting Corners” that literally had me doing a double audio take to make certain he hadn’t slyly added the original onto the listing! The production is crisp, and Joseph James handles and juggles his many musical hats with suitable aplomb and efficiency – the guitars on “Stage Door” and the bass on “Big City Girls” are particularly impressive — while his vocals have the full-on growl and swagger necessary, as well adding some nice harmonies on most of the five songs here.
I hadn’t expected much from this — and even less after the usual over hyped press release — but the EP keeps your fingers crossed for more of the same on a full-length album and it will be interesting to see what happens if and when a band joins Mr. James for live dates. For now though, there is indeed a lot of fun to be had from this rather cool debut.
01. She’s A Vixen
02. Big City Girls
03. Do It For Rock ‘N’ Roll
04. Stage Door
05. Cutting Corners
Joseph James – all instruments, lead vocals
Produced by Joseph James
Reviewed by Rockney Colin for Sleaze Roxx, May 2023
Alleycatz‘s “She’s A Vixen” track: