Saturday, April 23, 2011

Blast from the Past: Kisses From Hanoi

Title:  Kisses From Hanoi (Amazon, Amazon [reissue],, [reissue], AllMusic)
Artist:  The GC5 (MySpace,, AllMusic, Wikipedia)

In 2000 The GC5 released their debut album, Kisses From Hanoi, on Outsider Records.  The record is a blistering blast of punk rock reminiscent of Stiff Little Fingers, The Replacements, and The Clash with double lead vocals by bassist Doug McKean and guitarist Pete Kyrou.  Lyrically the songs talk about the plight of the working class, failures of the American economic system, and friendship.  Sonically Kisses From Hanoi is one of the hardest hitting and most energetic albums out there.    

I first saw The GC5 when they opened up for the Hudson Falcons in the back of Music Dimensions and was totally blown away by their performance.  And if that wasn’t cool enough, when I met them after the show then turned out to be super awesome guys.  I was lucky enough to see them at least one other time before they called it a day and was always impressed that they remembered me. 

In 2003 Think Records reissued Kisses From Hanoi along with the import EP Horseshoes & Handgrenades on one CD.  The result is 19 of the best tracks that punk rock has to offer.  Stand out tracks include “One for Eugene,” “Bodies,” “A Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing,” “City Lights,” “White Flag,” their cover of The Replacements’ classic “Bastards of Young,” and my personal favorite “Refused.”  The CG5 was one of those bands that got well know in the late ‘90s, early ‘00s as part of the oi/street punk scene.  Like many of those bands (the Hudson Falcons and OKC’s own Roustabouts) that label really didn’t fit this band or their music.  The CG5 were never an oi or street punk band.  They were a fantastic rock ‘n’ roll band and put out two of the best records that not near enough people have heard. 

You can read my post comparing The GC5 to The Replacements here.      

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