By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
Can’t imagine anyone listening to this straight through — not awake, anyway. But at a time when so much of our pop culture is about pop culture, it’s refreshing to hear a pop band indulging in such a sustained, satisfying whimper. (Glen Hirshberg)
THE HANGMEN Metallic I.O.U. (Acetate)
After two disastrous outings with two different major labels back in the late ’80s and early ’90s, Hangmen founder and lone original member Bryan Small decided to take matters into his own hands and, along with veteran engineer Jimmy Sloan, has produced this no-nonsense rock & roll disc. Low on studio flash and high on attitude and pure, raw energy, Metallic I.O.U. is truly Small’s supreme triumph, finally capturing on tape what the Hangmen have been all about for the last 12 or so years.
Yes, Small’s been to hell and back, and on Metallic I.O.U. he lives to tell the tale. Songs like “Downtown” and “Bent” do not paint a pretty picture, confessing as they do the sad truth of life gone bad, living day to day and couch to couch, failed relationships, and always looking for that next fix. These are gut-wrenching tunes about harsh reality, plus a scorching version of the Lords of the New Church’s “Russian Roulette” that probably has the late, great Stiv Bators smiling in his grave. Contributing to the disc are longtime drummer Dino Guerrero, excellent dirty-blues slide guitarist Jimmy James, and Laura “Lucky” Bennett on bass and background vocals that perfectly complement Small’s supersnotty Johnny Thunders– meets–Tom Petty snarlings.
To the unknowing who had written off the Hangmen, who thought they were dead and buried, Metallic I.O.U. is a big, swift kick in the ass announcing their return to Hollywood’s re-emerging rock scene. (Jimmy Ansourian)