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Phantom, Rocker & Slick
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  • Upon the disintegration of the Stray Cats in 1984, bassist Lee Rocker and drummer Slim Jim Phantom joined with guitarist Earl Slick to form Phantom, Rocker & Slick. The new trio released their self-titled debut in 1985. With Rocker's tough lead vocals and Slick's biting guitar leading the way, Phantom, Rocker & Slick played an edgy, modern update of 1950s-style rockabilly and rock & roll. The overall sonic key is Slick, who played on David Bowie's mid-1970s albums and was a member of Silver Condor. The best song by far on Phantom, Rocker & Slick is "Men Without Shame," a swaggering 6 1/2-minute jolt of pure electricity. Slick alternates between piercing solo licks and chugging rhythm riffs with whammy-bar dives and warbles adding punch along the way. The chorus is quite catchy too. "Men Without Shame" garnered some rock radio airplay, but it never charted as a single. Old-fashioned 1950s- and 1960s-style rock & roll is embodied in "What You Want," "My Mistake" (which features Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards) and "Runnin' From the Hounds." The two best ballads on the album are "No Regrets" (with prolific guest pianist Nicky Hopkins) and the bittersweet "Lonely Actions." Phantom, Rocker & Slick, as of mid-2001, wasn't available on CD, but the flaccid edit of "Men Without Shame" appears on Guitar Gods, a 1998 EMI-Capitol Special Markets budget compilation. Why put the chopped version -- with most of Slick's fascinating guitar work largely missing -- on something titled Guitar Gods? That was dumb. Phantom, Rocker & Slick released one more album, 1986's Cover Girl, before breaking up. ~ Bret Adams
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