If you were to lay all of The Chuck Norris Experiment’s releases in a line, they’d probably stretch from their native Sweden to these UK shores. Okay, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but let’s just say that CNE’s output is vast; like, really vast. With singles and split 45s aplenty, cue Hotter Stuff – an album that compiles those dirty works in one handy package; whether it be covers, rarities, b-sides or unreleased treats. It’s a similar affair to 2010’s Hot Stuff (see what they did there?) and is welcomed for those who missed out on all those limited singles. Fans of the band tend to snap up those goodies faster than Sex Pistol Steve Jones on the pull.
From the two 7” tribute releases with The Hip Priests, Bitch Queens and King Mastino we get Keepin’ Halloween Alive (in honour of Alice Cooper) and Rock Out (for the late, great Lemmy). B-side takes include an unlikely cover of Bruce Springsteen’s Hungry Heart and a version of I Got Erection by Turbonegro; the latter being a live highlight if you’ve been fortunate to catch the band in all their raw glory. More covers ensue with acoustic takes of She (Misfits) and Ballcrusher (W.A.S.P.) from their Slugfest 9 split CD with Wales’ resident nut jobs Trigger McPoopshute. A second Misfits offering is served with a side order of ghoul courtesy of Jake Starr and HeWhoCannotBeNamed on Where Eagles Dare.
Right Between The Eyes from 2014 is arguably The Chuck Norris Experiment’s finest studio album, or their most successful at least as it peaked at number 23 in the Swedish charts, and Hotter Stuff features an ace acoustic version of the eponymous title track. Eaten Alive rates as one of this scribe’s favourite CNE ditties. This single version featured on the Mondo Generator split and if you ever need an example of the band at their sleaziest rock ‘n’ roll best then you could do much worse than to chuck this (pun intended) on repeat.
Have I covered all bases on the extent of this compilation? Probably not. Y’see, The Chuck Norris have so many singles and collaborations (including one Nick Oliveri of Queens of the Stone Age et al) that I’d need to create an underground rock family tree to detail the bloody lot here. Couple that with all the studio albums, it’s safe to say that CNE are Sweden’s premier rock overlords in terms of consistency and quality. Backyard Babies take note.
With pre-orders already underway and the vinyl strictly limited to 150 copies, don’t be surprised if physical copies of Hotter Stuff are already sold-out by the time this goes to press and you’ll have to make do with the downloads. Hey, don’t shoot the Mass Movement messenger as keeping up with these Swedes is a nightmare! If you do miss out or the band are new to you, then I’d highly recommend exploring The Chuck Norris Experiment’s other 28 releases (yes, twenty eight) via BandCamp, starting with some purchases of their 8 original long players. I’m no Rachel Riley but I think I’ve got my numbers right. For those about to Chuck, we salute you! Ginge Knievil.