If anyone can claim a legitimate case of the millennial blues, it's Marky Ramone. The new century opened with the death of former bandmate Joey, followed up with the Ramones' induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and delivered a sucker punch with Dee Dee Ramone's fatal overdose just three weeks later. To help lift himself from his understandable emotional daze, Marky says he accepted the Speedkings' offer to record this album with them.
Frankly, Joey and Dee Dee's memories deserve better than this. Legends Bleed is 48 charmless minutes of bludgeoning hardcore and bar-band punk. Whereas Joey's solo album was full of the same geeky genius that fueled Ramones classics like "Teenage Lobotomy," Legends Bleed reveals a glaring lack of humor and imagination. To compensate, we get sophomoric songs like "Fuck Shit Up!," "Weenie Hair," and "R 'n' R Asshole." And if tracks like "Sex Phone Girls" and "Beaver on My Mind" are any indication, songwriter Nick Cooper's sexual development arrested somewhere around the seventh grade. The four live Ramones tunes -- "I Don't Care," "Beat on the Brat," "Rockaway Beach," and "Glad to See You Go" -- fall flat in the hands of the Speedkings, and the idea that they would be anything more is silly. Wings playing Beatles songs is still Wings.
Granted, Marky just bangs the traps on this album, but Legends Bleed is insulting to the notion that drummers will play with anyone just to play. And it's his marquee name on the cover. With Joey and Dee Dee gone, and Johnny keeping a low profile, the Ramones legacy is in Marky's hands. It's a shame he doesn't treat it better than this.
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