For Fans Of
Chris Ward, also known as CJ Ramone, is technically a Ramone, despite the fact that he became a member well after the band’s heyday, but hey, whatever sells the records right? Keeping in the spirit of all things Ramones, Ward’s second solo record ‘Last Chance To Dance’ is punk rock to its very core, keeping as close to the original sound as possible.
Interestingly enough, the quality of these songs can rival some of his former employers any day of the week, musically that is, lyrically, things are muddled as the record moves from story-telling concept album to just whatever Ward wants. While there is no thematic consistency, musically this is some good old fashioned punk rock fun.
The album seems to center around an army man and his family if the driving Won’t Stop Swinging is anything to go by, musically it’s a power-chord wonder-house with that gruffy overdriven guitar leading the way in the simple yet effective manor that the genre mastered.
Not sure if Ward is a bit of a gun nut but the track Mr. Kalashnikov makes it seem so, add to this the fact that it is a terrible song with some of the worst lyrics ever written, it really destroys the flow of the record, and if its not a joke, and credibility Ward may have.
As we travel along and try to appreciate the driving punk rock in all of glory some things do however become apparent. The first is that musically Ward may be stuck in a rut, refusing to let go of the past and keeping the same formula in all of his songwriting and the second, Ward may be all that is wrong with the world. The closing track Clusterfuck seems to mirror his gun-loving southern way of thinking by possibly slipping in some untoward comments about his current leadership. It’s obviously all up for interpretation but when you start to connect the dots Ward may not be the type of guys you want to drink with.
Musically Ward is doing his best to carry on the Ramones legacy but lyrically this record is questionable at best.
1. Understand Me?
2. Won’t Stop Swinging
3. One More Chance
4. Carry Me Away
5. ‘Til The End
6. Long Way To Go
7. Mr. Kalashnikov
10. You Own Me
11. Last Chance To Dance