Johny Skullknuckles & The Kopek Millionaires ‘Heartaches & Hardons’ – album review

Johny Skullknuckles & The Kopek Millionaires ‘Heartaches & Hardons’ (JSK Records)
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First release from Johny Skullknuckles and his oddly monikered Kopek Millionaires; Skullknuckles being the charismatic ex guitarist for a whole host of bands including Jayne County & The Electric Chairs, Section 5, The Anti-Nowhere League, and also Goldblade; as such he has shared a stage with some of the undergrounds most prominent front men and women; and with Wayne/Jayne, all points in between!!

The formation of the (currently studio only) Kopek Millionaires sees him step from these shadows and with this first self-released EP instantly deliver a shot across the bows that should see him gain the attention his former band mates are used to;

‘S.F.I.L’ opens proceedings and immediately references Skullknuckles own musical history; sleaze punk roots and layers of guitar noise…’One Broken Heart’ has a darker edge but is essentially a huge, twangy foot stomper that also allows Skullknuckles to display his previously unheard vocal talents; ‘Over You’ is frankly magnificent – three minutes of pop genius, its crammed with razor sharp hooks, and comes at you with ferocious energy, this is an all guns blazing rush of exuberance; ‘Amphetamine Blues’ is the sole cover version, though Skullknuckles effortlessly brings enough to the Vibrators tune to call it his own…’Six O’clock In The Morning’ is a twisted power pop ballad complete with keyboard effects and neat guitar solo; the entire EP is constructed around driving guitar and drum riffs which combine in a punk/Hanoi Rocks style sleaze fest; the result being a collection of insanely catchy, raucous rebel rousers.

This is a very strong release that should find favour with anyone who loves big guitar riffs and strident defined vocals – for reasons best known to Skullknuckles the initial pressing consists of just 77 copies; I suggest you buy yours now.

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