Agony Shorthand

Tuesday, July 01, 2003
RIGHT ON : “BURIED ALIVE / LOVE” 45….The debut bleat from one of America’s best-kept basement secrets, the Rob Vasquez-led, Seattle-based garage rock trio RIGHT ON – and not a moment too soon. In fact, what took ‘em so long, and why so limited, and why on a (great) French label instead of on Warner Brothers, why why why? For the uninitiated, RIGHT ON spring from the fount of razor-sharp 60s-meets-90s guitar ferocity found in Vasquez’s previous bands the NIGHT KINGS and THE NIGHTS AND DAYS, and adds two Seattle scene heavyweights from FLATHEAD and elsewhere to man the bass and drums. These fellas exist on a continuum that stretches from Link Wray to the Swamp Rats through the aforementioned Crime to the Morlocks to today – and yep, they’re that good. Vasquez has been creating a secret rock and roll history of his own in Seattle bedrooms and clubs for the better part of two decades, and I think it’s high time it all became not so secret. “Buried Alive” and “Love” are two early numbers recorded a couple of years ago, and if you recognize the raw gutter-garage of the NIGHT KINGS as an American cultural high water mark, you’ll surely get a big buzz outta this. They even out the tempos a bit and add a little extra hoomph to the low end and the result is pretty roaring, without even a second of look-at-me-I’m-a-punk theatrics. Having seen them play live only a few weeks ago, I’d reckon that RIGHT ON have significantly scaled this 45’s heights in the intervening years, and are now ready to unleash an LP/CD that’ll slay all comers. Cop a fix now from your friends at Royal Records.