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Album Review

An ongoing side project by John Reis (Speedo) from Rocket from the Crypt, the Sultans are both a stylistic detour and a place to explore a different set of emotions than one is likely to encounter on a, RFTC album. The sound is tightly wound, punky power pop in the style of the Plimsouls, the Nerves, the Last, and the rest of the late-'70s L.A. pop scene, complete with the clean, trebly guitar sound; relative lack of distortion; and Beatles-derived sense of pop song structure. Suitably for this female-obsessed musical style, all 14 songs on Shipwrecked concern the end of a long-term relationship. Suffice to say that things didn't end well: songs like "Shut Up and Sit Down" and "Walk of Shame" cover the anger and denial end of the spectrum, while the downright pathetic "I Wanna Be With You Tonight" sums up the pleading, and the inconclusive "I Don't Care What She Thinks of Me" closes the album on at least a hint of acceptance. Sympathy for the Record Industry head Long Gone John produces the album with the kind of no-frills punch that typified Greg Shaw's Bomp Records heyday. Honestly, this album could have come out in 1979 and it wouldn't sound much different.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

One of two side projects launched in 2000 by John Reis during a hiatus in activities with his main band Rocket From The Crypt, the Sultans embraced a more lo-fi garage rock format than the Hot Snakes (in which Reis reunited with former Drive Like Jehu partner Rick Froberg). Switching from his usual guitar to the bass and adopting the nickname ‘Slasher’, Reis was joined in the original line-up of the Sultans by Rocket From The Crypt guitarist Andy Stamets aka Black Flame and drummer Tony Di Prima....
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Shipwrecked, The Sultans
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