Joe Gittleman – Hold Up (Bad Time Records)

Joe Gittleman and me go way back to his Gang Green days, and if I’m completely honest, the main reason I picked up the Bosstone’s debut album, Devil’s Night Out when legendary chiseler Curtis Cassella* released it on Taang! way back in 1992, was because Joe was firmly ensconced in their ranks, having jumped ship and left Chris Doherty and skating behind and gone back to Dickie and plaid. 

Having seen Joe tear it up onstage at one of the Bosstones first UK shows (the Cheap Sweaty Fun 100 extravaganza in Newport), and many times since and having interviewed him a couple of times along the way, there was no way I wasn’t going to take an afternoon off from the day gig and spend it soaking up his debut solo album, Hold Up. I figure I owe Joe at least that much, and I’m more than a little happy that my punk rock conscience made me pay that debt. 

From the opening moments of Plastered In The Rafters to the final chords of For The Love Of Gino Mader, it’s immediately apparent that Joe was, musically, lyrically and spiritually, the beating heart of the Bosstones, as Hold Up is infused with the same kind of more laid back, relaxed moments that Boston’s finest would kick into when they wanted to dial the throttle down a little. 

Imagine a punk rock supergroup that was made up of members of the Bosstones, The Slackers, and Wax, working from the same musical blueprint that The Clash poured over when they wrote and recorded London Calling, and you’ll have a pretty good idea where Joe and Hold Up are coming from. And believe me, where Joe Gittleman is coming from is a place that you’ll want to visit time and time again…  Tim Cundle 

*Okay, so yeah there is a story there, and it isn’t just the tale that Clif from The Freeze told me about Curtis, the one that made my toes curl and hair fall out. He, that is Curtis, also owes me close to $200 for merch that I paid for and he never sent, despite me repeatedly getting in touch with him to find out where my SSD, Gang Green, and Bosstones shirts and hoodies were… 

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