“Oh, the humanity!” wailed the radio announcer from Lakehurst, New Jersey, as the Hindenburg burned and crashed not 200 yards from him in 1937. Yet compared to the loss of life in modern air disasters, this accident was statistically a trivial reason to consign the entire zep fleet to the dustbin of history. A similar philosophical statement is boldly delivered by Port Washington’s Dead End Kidz in a song called “The Power.” That is, Why did all ’70s heavy rock style have to be abandoned when it had such a reasonable safety record? It’s a fair question, for which, like the Hindenburg explosion, there is simply no good answer.
Anyway, the Dead End Kidz have made a CD, recorded for free and coincidentally, it is said, in the old Hindenburg hangar in Lakehurst. It owes a bit to 1974 Kiss. And since I’m no member of the Kiss Army, it’s my view the basic model left room for a lot of improvement because, as any true student of the game will tell you, by the time of Hotter Than Hell, 80 percent of Kiss’s eventual money shots were already one LP behind them. So if you’ve got a hankering for the sound but your stomach clenches at the suggestion of a cash outlay for Kiss remasters, know that just about everything on D.E.K. is a step up from the likes of “Parasite” and “Goin’ Blind.”
Further, D.E.K. carries an authentic mid-range guitar sheen. (For the non-audiophile: It sounds very underground early ’70s with no trace of prole metal tone.) Its best selection, about a desire to beat someone’s head in, blends catchy “hey-hey!” choruses with a briskly performed cowbell solo. Also be advised that there is another Dead End Kids floating around in cyberspace. Only they’re spelled with an s instead of a z, probably because it never occurred to them. And their CD remakes the Sensational Alex Harvey Band rather than Kiss, an equally capital idea.
Available from Deadendkidz.com. The Dead End Kidz play the Wrong Way Inn in Amityville June 27 and Sagar’s Tavern in Port Washington July 6.