Album review: Ya Know? - Joey Ramone

By Joel Greatbatch

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Album cover for '...Ya Know?' by Joey Ramone. Photo / Supplied
Album cover for '...Ya Know?' by Joey Ramone. Photo / Supplied

Punk legend Joey Ramone may have died too young from Lymphoma in 2001, but over the years he left behind a clutch of demos and song sketches that are now seeing the light of day.

His brother Mickey Leigh cobbled the tracks on ...Ya Know? together and brought in many of Joey's friends, such as Joan Jett and others too numerous to mention, to flesh out the skeleton of Joey's vocal takes recorded before his death.

It suffers from slickness and over production that is at odds with The Ramones' traditional garage grit, but thankfully Joey's unmistakeable croon is crystal clear for all to hear.

Opener Rock n Roll is the Answer sounds like AC/DC is playing at the end of Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey, but this doesn't have to be a bad thing and sets the tone for the other rollicking rockers that follow.

Standouts include the gloriously simple and catchy New York City and the rockin' I Couldn't Sleep, but the best thing on offer is the 50's drenched Party Line with Holly Beth Vincent augmenting Joey's drawl.

It's a perfect nod to when The Ramones worked with gun toting genius/nut-bar producer Phil Spector, but the other tracks don't quite measure up and the album can drag a bit as a result.

However it's worth it just for the clutch of gems that make you want to rip up ya jeans, don a leather jacket and start a band with your similarly dishevelled friends. And Joey would have loved nothing more.

Stars: 3/5
Verdict: A faithful post-humous collaboration from friends and family, but occasionally one can hear why some of these songs were kept in the basement.
Buy this album here.

- Herald online

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