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LJ Sleeze – Dead or Alive

LJ Sleeze - Dead or Alive

Once in a while, a band comes along and marries exceptional playing technique with heady concepts to create works that only a special few can understand and appreciate. 

That is not the story LJ Sleeze, a man dedicated to making rock n’ roll dangerously stupid and cleverly simple again. LJ Sleeze’s singles have sustained me through the onslaught of genres like math-rock, and I can’t hide my delight at the release of the album “Dead or Alive.”

Were Ramones dumb or smart? Doesn’t matter really. While your brain is busy contemplating an answer, once a Ramones song begins playing, your legs are already off to the races, propelling you across the room. LJ Sleeze is Ramones for 2024. 

Who does LJ Sleeze think he is? “Dead or Alive” tells you exactly. Album opener, “Ain’t Easy Bein’ Sleazy” presents the punk-rocker as a tough guy about town who lives only to “fuck and fight.” 

The song also introduces listeners to the brilliant musical formula used throughout the record – the minimal number of power chords, played frantically and sloppily on guitars that stubbornly won’t stay in tune. It sounds grand!

Is there more to the man than meets the eye? No, absolutely not. LJ Sleeze is a one-track-minded man on a mission to save scuzzy rock n’ roll from the corrupting influence of people like Chris Martin, or Matt Healy.

“Dead or Alive” uses nearly the same great riff as the opener and assures you that trying to stop Mr. Sleeze would be futile. The manic “Rock Bottom” confirms he has nothing to lose. And, just in case you think you can buy LJ Sleeze’ loyalty, “Money” tells you that, yes, that is absolutely true. The song contains the line, “Money buys me drugs, I’m not judgemental/Yeah, baby, you know my body is a temple.” It’s one of many zingers. 

Is LJ Sleeze’s music meant to be taken seriously? Listen, all great villains have a sense of humor, and this punk rocker is no different. 

What sets LJ Sleeze apart from others trying to relive the filth-soaked glory days of punk is that he is a genius of minimalism. His delivery is excellently monotone. The playing is elementary but memorable. And his lack of morals and exaggerated bravado are so ridiculous that you can’t get mad at the guy. 

There are many bands who try to sound like Ramones. Most of them miss the point. Most of them are too musically competent and too intellectually capable. Through whatever process, LJ Sleeze has gotten rid of these pointless things and has made a truly terrible and great record with “Dead or Alive.”

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About author

Eduard Banulescu is a writer, blogger, and musician. As a content writer, Eduard has contributed to numerous websites and publications, including FootballCoin, Play2Earn, BeIN Crypto, Business2Community, NapoliSerieA, Extra Time Talk, Nitrogen Sports, Bavarian FootballWorks, etc. He has written a book about Nirvana, hosts a music podcasts, and writes weekly content about some of the best, new and old, alternative musicians. Eduard also runs and acts as editor-in-chief of the alternative rock music website Mr. Banulescu is also a musician, having played and recorded in various bands and as a solo artist.
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