Incredible Lost Session Featuring Members Of The Stooges, Sonic Youth & Mudhoney Released

Incredible Lost Session Featuring Members Of The Stooges, Sonic Youth & Mudhoney Released

stooges sonic youth
(Photo couretsy of Ron Asheton Foundation)

The Wylde Ratttz was a Stooge-rock supergroup featuring original Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton, Mudhoney vocalist Mark Arm, Thurston Moore and Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth, LA punk legend and future Stooges bass player Mike Watt and Gumball guitarist/producer Don Fleming, together with guest Sean Ono Lennon. The all-star grunge/experimental alt-rock lineup came together with their guitar guru Asheton in 1997 to record a set of Stooges songs for Todd Haynes bizarre glam opus Velvet Goldmine, which starred Ewan McGregor (and which was weird). The recordings session went so well the band quickly reconvened to record an album's worth of originals and a couple of tunes by one of Ron's all-time faves, the Pretty Things. Circulated and fawned over by fans for years, these recordings have never been officially released, until now.

Thanks to the good folk at the Ron Asheton Foundation, which continues the charity work that Ron did (up until his death in 2009) in support of musicians and animals around the Stooges' home town of Ann Arbor, Michigan, the Wylde Ratttz' second session is now available to download via Bandcamp. For the price of a couple of beers you can pick up some scorchingly hot rock'n'roll and support a great cause to boot!

With Asheton's needle-like licks always to the fore - and reminiscent of his underrated later work with Dark Carnival, who Australian audiences had the joy of experiencing in 1991 - Wylde Ratttz is an absolutely rip-roaring Stooge-rock record with knowing nods to the decadence and excess of the early glam era. Of course, Iggy & The Stooges hugely influenced David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust phase (and Bowie produced their Raw Power album in 1972), and the central figure in Velvet Goldmine was an Iggy-esque figure, so it’s still in keeping with what was required for the film. It's an area that Mudhoney have often dabbled in any way, so Mark Arm provides an unmissable vocal presence and lyrical thrust on tracks like "Be My Unclean" and "Pull On The Pipe". Ron Asheton himself provides a couple of rare lead vocals on the tracks "Hot Shot" and "I'm Not Screwing Around", which Australian audiences might remember from those Dark Carnival shows. The Pretty Things covers - "Rosalyn" and "LSD" - are a joy and provide a '70s-style update on the Pretties' influential and savage rhythm & blues, just like Bowie did when he did his version of "Rosalyn" on Pin Ups back in '73. Don Fleming, who had co-produced Sonic Youth's Goo in 1990 and more recently produced Dark Carnival's studio album The Last Great Ride in 1996, keeps it all sounding close and sticky, giving it the sort of sweat-on-skin feel that this sort of music warrants.

The whole thing is a blast from start to finish. Fans of the Stooges, Mudhoney and Sonic Youth et al., will want to grab it pronto. It's currently available from Bandcamp here. 

Here's a couple of Stooges and Mudhoney clips to warm you up, and the set-to-stun version of the Stooges "TV Eye" that the Wylde Ratttz recorded for Velvet Goldmine which alas does not feature on this release. It's the same recording that the film soundtrack featured with Ewan McGregor's vocal replacing Mark Arm's, but hell, Mark Arm is pretty hard to replace! And here's hoping that all their Stooges covers – apparently there's a load of them - all see a release soon as well.

Wylde Ratttz "TV Eye" 



Related Posts