The Del-Lords (from the album Frontier Days) - They took their name from Del Lord, director of early Three Stooges short films, and the plan was to create a band with four singers, like an east coast Beach Boys. That model was filtered through lower East Side grit, and backed by a foursome that included The Dictators’ rhythm guitarist Scott Kempner (guitar), Joan Jett and the Blackhearts lead guitar Eric ‘Roscoe’ Ambel (guitar) , Frank Funaro (drums) and Manny Caiati (bass). The Del-Lords may have been aiming for west coast harmony but the sound of Frontier Days, the band’s debut on was pure lower East Side rock’n’toll. There are no garages in Manhattan, at least none to rehearse in. The Del-Lords are the sound of the streets in 1984, the release date for Frontier Days.
The Lou Whitney production for Frontier Days shows the man behind the boards (Lou) heard a reverse Americana echo from the future and gave it to the songs, tenderly creating a hazy sheen as “Feel Like Going Home” trudges back to bed on heavy rock beats, crackles “Shame on You” like it is blaring its jangle through tinny AM radio speakers, and shimmies through a vintage spy-beat riff wriggling through a “Double Life”. Rock walks its Roots proudly on Frontier Days. The Del-Lords walk onto the album talking tough and letting their NYC hearts bleed all over brothers and sisters hunkering down in the Big Apple with “How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live”. Frank Funaro can’t decide on a tom-tom, so he just beats a path into “Livin on Love”, and Roscoe’s guitar is a siren call as band offers some personal advice on DIY getting-through-a-day with “I Play the Drums”. For more DIY glory, The Del-Lords use Frontier Days for the manifesto that is “Get Tough”. The track is a timeless tome that rings its bells as a warning to ‘get tough’ showing tenderness for city streets with the aside of ‘it don’t mean I don’t hate it’, as it calls around the world above Beirut bombs on back to the lower east side turf wars.
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