Los Angeles punk icons The Gears have a new album, "When Things Get Ugly", their first in 34 years! It's a stunning, high voltage achievement in high rock & roll art. The entire hard-hitting, all original set positively swarms with an accelerated, expressive drive and deeply ingrained, undeniable authenticity. It represents the rarest of punk rock phenomena: a fully realized, freshly minted collection of songs whose consistence and quality not only matches but also enhances the band’s slamming, historic legacy.
The Gears, after all, are one of Los Angeles' best loved late 70's punk rock bands. Fronted by charismatic wildman Axxel G. Reese and featuring the sublime guitar brutality of Kidd Spike, the Gears have always put on spectacular shows and, unlike almost all of their contemporaries, sound better than ever today. They first exploded onto the tumultuous Masque-Starwood circuit in 1978, quickly distinguished themselves with their propulsive Four Speed sound and a set list studded with insta-classics like "Teenage Brain," "Don't Be Afraid to Pogo" and their infamous "Elk's Lodge Blues," a brilliant account of the LAPD's skull-denting raid on an all-star punk event. Today, with bassist Mike Manifold and drummer Sean 'Shift' Antillion, the Gears' accelerated, high-performance punk rock purity is nothing short of flabbergasting.
Produced by legendary old school Los Angeles punk record man Chris Ashford, each of When Things Get Ugly’s 12 songs are models of self-possessed, self-celebratory punk artistry. Born after Spike discovered a decades old, long-forgotten, live otherwise unrecorded 4 song cassette tape and Ashford encouraged the band to complete work on the tunes, it initiated a creative orgy of collaborative work, involving all of the Gears to varying degrees, on another 8 brand new songs. The results speak for themselves, and tracks like “Psychotic Sweetheart” and “When Punk Rock Rules the World” create a compelling, vivid, musical spree which forcefully showcases the Gears undiminished skill, high-velocity drive and undeniable Down In The Basement brilliance.