Friday Full-Length: Truth and Janey, No Rest for the Wicked

Truth and Janey, No Rest for the Wicked (1976)

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So¬†Truth and Janey‘s debut landed at this crucial in-between moment, almost the point at which one generation’s expectations for what rock and roll could and should be doing were swapped out for another’s.¬†No Rest for the Wicked contains elements of many of the above-mentioned artists and movements, whether it’s the brighter strum of its title-track referring back to¬†Thin Lizzy or the grittier guitar in opener “Down the Road I Go” meeting head-on with gorgeous harmonies, “It’s all Above Us” melding psychedelia and progressive tendencies or “Remember, a Child, Building Walls” bringing¬†The Who-style classic progressions to a jazzier instrumental flow. Such breadth doesn’t make¬†No Rest for the Wicked¬†come across as scattershot, and while that seems like something of a miracle on paper, the smoothness of¬†Truth and Janey‘s transitions and the performances of¬†Janey,¬†Bruce and¬†Bock throughout these tracks are a soul salve for any lover of spirited, formative heavy rock. The album proper ends with the easy-rolling “My Mind,” but this version also includes the four songs from¬†Truth and Janey‘s prior singles, “Midnight Horsemen,” “Around and Around,” the Rolling Stones cover “Under My Thumb” and “Straight Eight Pontiac.”

Those cuts have appeared on numerous reissues of No Rest for the Wicked, including CD versions released by Monster Records in 2001 and Rockadrome Records in 2007. Rockadrome also oversaw a vinyl release with the original tracklisting intact in 2010, and that has been pressed up again this year. Truth and Janey, meanwhile, released one more studio album in 1977’s Just a Little Bit of Magic before disbanding, but have had bits of live and other material — the 2001¬†Erupts! compilation stands out — surface over the years. As further testament to their longevity, they’ll play¬†Psycho Las Vegas in August, alongside¬†Alice Cooper,¬†Blue¬†√Ėyster Cult and many, many, many more.

What a week. One for the record books. This was the first of three weeks I’ll spend willfully unemployed before starting my new job at Hasbro in Rhode Island on June 28. Vacation. Three weeks off. Europe might scoff, but here in the US, it’s practically unheard of. A gift from the gods. And frankly, it’s felt that way over the last five days.

Monday and Tuesday, pretty quiet. Slept late, got some writing done — steady stream of reviews this week, which was nice — and hung around with The Patient Mrs.. Tuesday evening we headed for Connecticut and I suggested kind of on a whim we should go to the Yankee game the next night. So that was Wednesday. We took the train from New Haven into the Bronx and it was fantastic. I had a roast beef sandwich, minus the bread — still carbless — for dinner, and she had a veggie dog, for which she’s been waiting years and for which she has written suggestion-box emails numbering greater than 10. Thrills abounded, and the team, who are thoroughly and willfully mediocre this year, won a blowout. We got back late, so slept late again yesterday, and when I woke up I checked my email and found a note from Stefan from Colour Haze, that’s like the best kind of email, about their new live album, which was posted about this morning. My family is coming up from New Jersey tomorrow, so this afternoon we’ll go to the farmer’s market in town here and pick up some eats and other such and such, then I look forward to a quiet evening tonight and then more good times tomorrow. Work to do Sunday, but it’ll get done. I’m not worried.

Next week is a little bumpier. I have a doctor stuff on Tuesday that I expect will consume most of the day. I’ll also be announcing the last band and afterparty details for The Obelisk All-Dayer (tickets here) Aug. 20 at the Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn. The official poster, with art by Skillit — look up to the header of this site for a sampling of his work — should be done in the next two weeks. It’s going to be bright as hell, happy, psychedelic and weird. It’s going to involve ice cream. I can’t wait.

Still, look out for reviews of Sergio Ch., West, Space and Love and Conclave before next week is through, as well as a new podcast, that All-Dayer announcement and an interview with Dave Sherman of The Obsessed to precede that band’s stop headlining at Maryland Doom Fest in a couple weeks, which I’ll be attending and covering as kind of the last big blowout of this gleeful between-jobs period before I start work again the Tuesday after.

So lots of good stuff to come. Before I put the laptop down, I just want to thank Tom Geddes from the Desertscene Podcast (Thee Facebooks, website) again for having me as a guest for last week’s episode. It was a pleasure to chat with Tom — or, since he’s UK-based, chat to him — about bands and writing and whatnot, and if you didn’t hear it, I thought the end result came out really well. Thanks if you get the chance to check it out.

Please have a great and safe weekend. If you need me, I’ll be endeavoring toward the same.

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One Response to “Friday Full-Length: Truth and Janey, No Rest for the Wicked

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