Stark Naked and the Fleshtones are a punk rock band that gigged around Toronto and southern Ontario in the early ’80s before calling it a day by 1985. After a reunion at NXNE music festival last year, Stark Naked are finally releasing their first proper album. So why should you care about some old underground Canadian punks? Simple; because they’re actually not shit. I was barely a few months old when the band disbanded and Toronto is a long way from the village in Scotland where I grew up, but it’s easy for me to appreciate this album for what it is: toe-tapping, hip-twisting, side-shaking fun. It’s just a cool, straight-forward punk rock ‘n roll record, with three studio tracks, five good quality live ones and a weird bonus track featuring a smooth jazz cover of one of their songs. The main intention of this CD seems to be to give fans a chance to bring home the live experience of the band and play it on their stereo, and this is achieved.
Toronto punk bands come and go with a frequency almost as regular as some of the downtown venues they used to occupy (Big Bop, Planet, Queenshead… I miss you), but in this case at least, the old school is definitely cool and could easily teach a few current bands on the scene a thing or two about punk rock. Stark Naked, the stage name of the singer that the band are named after, quips on the mic with witty lyrics and amusing song titles to match (“Ugly Girls”, “I Broke Her Heart – She Broke My Arm”). Meanwhile guitarist Eugene Ripper has a name that could only possibly be more apt is he was Australian, ripping on his guitar with all the kick-ass cool that the connotations of that Australian slang word represent. Bonza, mate.
© Brian Banks, Editor, Music Vice
“I Was A Teenage Stockbroker” by Stark Naked and the Fleshtones:
Stark Naked and The Fleshtones play at The Garrison in Toronto, tomorrow, Friday 30 September to launch their album. The lineup will include original members Stark Naked and Eugene Ripper alongside Ray Walsh and Paul Newman (formerly of the Doughboys). Tickets are $15 at the door.