Geffen Records, 1989


REVIEW BY: Paul Hanson


Junkyard hoped to catch on through their sleaze-rock image in 1989 and they never did. They put out a CD after their debut and . . . no one bought it.

Their self-titled debut brings Faster Pussycat and AC/DC to mind: play a riff over and over and it becomes memorable. Why else can I remember the riff of "Don't Change That Song" at a moment's notice? You hate bands like this: they are not especially talented, meaning zines like Guitar World transcribe their songs so that would-be guitarists can learn the song and say, "I can play an AC/DC song." And like the most exciting guitar duo (NOT!) in AC/DC, Junkyard is good transcription fodder. Transcribe the main riff, add a couple of variations, and you can transcribe the entire CD.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

If I knew how to transcribe guitar.

"Blooze" opens the CD with an up-tempo jaunt into boring. "Hot Rod" continues with stupid lyrics such as "Well, c'mon baby, take a chance with me/ Jump into my ride and see/ Got a motor revvin' under my hood/ Bigger than you'd ever believe." Gee, those aren't suggestive lyrics. Someone get the PMRC going again.

The writing credit for "Simple Man" is given to Gates/Roach, but they should have been honest and said, "Lynyrd Skynyrd." Sounds like a cheap rip-off and it sucks. "Shot in the Dark" sounds like Faster Pussycat.

The CD's lone redeeming quality is the single "Hollywood" which is actually not bad. If I ever trade my Ludwig Vistalite drum set (stacked in my basement) in for a guitar, I wouldn't mind learning this riff after 1) "Jungle Love" by the Steve Miller Band, 2) "China Groove" by the Doobie Brothers and 3) "Enter Sandman" by Metallica. I might have to learn "Sunshine Of Your Love" just because I've been listening to the Earth Crisis cover of it on The Oath That Keeps Me Free. Before I think of other riffs I would want to learn, I'll stop and say that "Hollywood" is the best riff on this CD.

The worst part of this CD is that the band has no real showcase players. Vocalist David Roach isn't especially talented, and the guitar duo of Chris Gates and Brian Baker are boring and predictable. Drummer Patrick Michael Muzingo reminds me of Phil Rudd. While he plays decently, I rarely hear aspiring drummers say, "I want to play like Phil Rudd." I wanted to sound like Neil Peart, Lars Ulrich, and Alex Van Halen.

I definitely agree with part of a review I read for Junkyard which says, in part: ". . . Junkyard's 1989 debut is a . . . disjointed[,] affair." And if you think I was rough on this piece of junk, wait until I get to the Dangerous Toys relase Hellacious Acres. Just a hint: helacious is a good description of the listener's experience.

Rating: D-

User Rating: A


This reviewer is a dumbass. He should stop whining about how he wants to learn to play and transcribe guitar and learn to appreciate good music instead.

Junkyard is one of my favorite albums ever, metal or otherwise (and yes, I CAN play and transcribe guitar). It's good, southern blues rock with a metal edge. Solid lyrics, vocals and solos that stand the test of time.

Also, "Simple Man" is not a rip-off of Skynyrd, it's a TRIBUTE. And a damn good one at that. I didn't need a transcription to learn the main riff, just my ear, and a great riff it is.

I just hope I get to see these guys live someday, too bad they missed the roll of the dice on making it bigger.

Oh, and reviewer, two more comments:

1. It's "China GROVE". Grove, not GROOVE. G R O V E. Grove, OK?
2. "Enter Sandman" was the first single where Metallica started to suck (and I was the biggest Metallica fan ever before the Black Album). The fact that this is the first Metallica song you would learn proves that you have no taste.

Sincerely and with Love,
-- Chad
I realize I was a bit harsh, posting too late in a foul mood after being kept up all night by a cold.

I don't think the reviewer is a dumbass, I'm sure he's a very nice fellow. I hope he has learned to play guitar, too.

He's still wrong about Junkyard, though. This is a classic album :)

-- Chad

© 2001 Paul Hanson and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Geffen Records, and is used for informational purposes only.