Forgotten series: Linus and the Losers – Gone (2009)

Based in Sweden, Linus and the Losers make the kind of music “authority figures” once upon a time railed against, believing such sounds turned kids into rebels, criminals, and drug addicts. In other words, Linus and the Losers play rock ‘n’ roll that’s dark, daring, loud, lewd, and downright cool.

As you probably assumed, the band is fronted by Linus. Now here’s a guy with a long and winding history, backpedaling to the ’60s when he was known as Kal X. Blue and was a member of Something Wild. The Southern California band’s lone single, “Tripping Out” has since deservedly earned the reputation as a psychedelic garage rock classic. Something Wild is also noted for including keyboardist Bill Payne, who later reaped success with Little Feat.

Rooted in the blues and country music, but threaded tight with electrified rocking beats, Gone (Butchers Records) spits, smolders, and sizzles onward and upward with brash and brazen action. A rather ghoulish aspect directs a lot of these tracks, occasionally bringing to mind prime Alice Cooper and Black Sabbath. Drifts of bluesy slide guitar grace the material as well, and we’re talking about honest to goodness blues influenced by the likes of Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker.

Intense and insane, “Let The Night Come” is a harsh and heavy screamer, and then there’s the punk rock bluegrass of “Plastic Jesus” and “Holy Matrimony” that are performed at a pace so fast and frenzied you’ll feel as though you just ran a marathon. Dripping with strength and emotion, “For Janis (Pearl)” is a sweaty ballad dedicated to Janis Joplin, and the saucy and seductive “Call Me Papa” additionally gains entrance as a pick to click.

Armed with a gravel-throated growl that’s threatening but decidedly tasty, Linus pours his soul and guts into every song he sings. The energy emitted on Gone is amazing and addictive, with the whole band going the extra mile and exposing their individual talents. Sassy female harmonies, rugged guitar pickings, powered drumming, and crusty and crackling rhythms reside comfortably within the repertoire.

Edgy, raw and modeled on all the inviting ingredients rock and roll was originally built on, Gone is highly recommended for those who aren’t afraid to have their ears bleed, their hearts pound, and their loins tingle when listening to music. Diehard devotees of real rock and roll, Linus & the Losers are definitely not losers!

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Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 on the national charts with "Stand By Me" - which is ironically one of her favorite songs, especially the version by John Lennon. She has also contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as associate editor of Rock Beat International. Paterson's own publications have included Inside Out, and Twist And Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.

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