Album of the Week: Razor Boys – Atlanta 1978

Even though few have heard of Atlanta’s Razor Boys they can easily be considered trailblazers to the 80s glam rock scene.

Dating back to as early as 1975 the Razor Boys were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. They recorded their debut album in 1978 but the deep south obviously wasn’t very keen on a band of boys with teazed hair, scarves and makeup playing sleazy punk rock; that was more suited to Los Angeles or New York. As for timing, well the New York Dolls had played their final show in December of 1976, and Marc Bolan was killed in a car crash in September of 1977. Glam was in trouble.

There were way too many legendary punk records released in 1978 to mention but by that time glam leaning punk rock didn’t have much of a hold. Sure the The Sweet had a huge hit in 1979 and Slade released the wicked Slade Alive 2, but the Razor Boys played way heavier and sleazier rock and roll than either of those bands. They were more MC5 and Stooges, than bubblegum.

The next wave the Razor Boys could have ridden was the hair rock scene of the early 80s had they waited about 5 years. Bands like Mötley Crüe and Hanoi Rocks managed to blast off and make it a career but again, the Razor Boys were more raw and punk than Hanoi, and less metal than Crüe – think a heavier Teenage Head (who had long hair and wore makeup too).

The Razor Boys had the look down, they had the sound down – they just couldn’t get a deal and the record was never released. It’s a similar story to the Hollywood Brats who had broken up in 1974 well before their album was finally released in 1980.

So here we are, 2018 and Chicago’s HoZac Archival Records has unearthed the Razor Boys’ debut and released it digitally and as a black vinyl pressing of 500 copies with printed inner sleeve. Only 40 years late but  man is it worth the wait!

Opener “Toys” rocks with an Ace Frehley riff and a T Rex swagger, “Sweet Chablis” sounds like early Aerosmith soaked in Dixie moonshine. “Ragamuffin” is a dirty punked out Stooges/Dead Boys jam, while “Shakin’ It All the Time” is the most Teenage Head track here, Chuck Berry riffs and all. “Get Rich Quick” is a trashy rock and roll number with some wild drumming and “Needle Fever” sounds like a lost track from L.A.M.F.

Perhaps they mined their roots a little for “Shitfaced” with its southern rock strut and bastardized riff from Skynyrd’s “What’s Your Name“. “Wolf Spider” and “The Last Rocker” are trashy Electric Warrior rockers and “Highschool” cops an early Generation X feel even though the two were contemporaries.

So as you can see, the Razor Boys were there. They were knocking on the door, they could’ve been contenders. They’d even opened for the likes of the Dead Boys, the Ramones, and Bon Scott era AC/DC. It’s too bad no one answered the door because “Atlanta 1978” is the embodiment of killer trashy punk and roll.

Chaz Westbrook (vocals)

Bobby Werblin (drums)

Dee Minor (bass)

Ronnie Razor (guitar and vocals)

Order it HERE!


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One foot in the door
The other one in the gutter

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