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The Compulsions Live in NYC

By Mick Stingley, Contributor
Monday, February 21, 2005 @ 10:57 PM


The Compulsions Live at CBGB's

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Though the evening’s line-up also consisted of “My TVs” and ”Pisser,” (which features ex-members of Honky Toast and Richard Fortus, late of The Psychedelic Furs and Guns N’ Roses) the show belonged to the Rolling Stones-meets-Black Crowes gnarly guitar of The Compulsions.

The four-piece NYC band apparently grew up loving Mick Taylor-era Stones and it came blasting out of the PA at CBs all Sticky Fingers and Ya-Ya’s. There was little stage banter and just a whole lot of boogie/blues and straight-up rock; which, in the age of soul-less “musicians” (who can turn their guitars down a whole step, but can’t play 12-bar blues), couldn’t be more refreshing.

The singer, Rob Carlyle, seemed possessed of Mick Jagger, Chris Robinson and Iggy Pop and maybe that Georgia Satellites guy who played the see-through Ampeg Dan Armstrong; which Carlyle does, as they opened up with the rousing “Shake Hands With The Devil.”

The band is a bunch of miscreants and truants from other bands who know a thing or two, such as guitarist Chris Wei, for whom a beautifully sustained note is worth more than the ones you buy groceries with. He also knows how to rock a wah-pedal, as evidenced by his work on “I Was Right, You Were Wrong,” possibly the best three-chord rock song ever. The drummer is evidently working out anger management issues and very likely to die of an aneurism soon, although he apparently has some cred as a touring drumming for the productions of Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Love, Janis. Not that it matters, because this is kid is going to kill himself for the sake of a few songs, which is fine with me. If more drummers were like this, the world would be a much better place for rock. Rounding out the rhythm section is a bass player named Jimmy Grillo, who has played with The Toilet Boys. Grillo hops around a lot, and fills the pockets of each song right to the bottom. This band is tighter than a rubber tube top on Jenna Jameson, and so great live I completely forgot about the other bands on the bill.

If there is a God, they will get signed, then immediately head down to The Mercury Lounge and beat the living shit out of each and every member of The Strokes. That’s asking more of God and The Record Industry than it is of The Compulsions, but for every new person who checks out this band, that’s one more step forward… This is the kind of band that you can check out without knowing anything about and still walk away humming four or five of their songs. Don’t know how long they’ve been doing it, but if I worked for Rolling Stone I’d write, “Best New Band, 2005!”

The set list:

Shake Hands with the Devil
I Was Right, You Were Wrong
Dance Around the Fire
Howlin' For You
Down on the Tracks
Black Magik
Jungle Disease
Shoot My Way to Freedom

www.thecompulsionsnyc.com


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