Ex-Idols Who We Are
Frank Meyer, Managing Editor
Thursday, September 14, 2000 11:44 AM


Back around '93/'95 there was this dirty little gutter rock band in Hollywood called the Ex-Idols. They were a four-piece outfit fronted by a cat named Gary Finneran who was an absolute animal on stage, a charismatic lunatic hell bent on destruction and alive with
demonspeed rock fury. Possessing voice of a saint but the mind of a sinner, the guy was a savage beast uncaged onstage at every show. I used to go these guys at a club called Raji's in its final days before it was shutdown after the L.A. earthquakes. The Idols had an arsenal of amazing songs, all filled with catchy hooks, monster guitar riffs and subversive lyrics. It wasn't long before they were scooped up by Relativity Records, who released their debut EP and their brilliant 1996 full-length Social Kill to critical acclaim but lackluster public reception and sales. After two grueling tours, the band called it quits.

Well, color me fuckin' surprised when I read in the paper the other day that the Ex-Idols
were playing a one-off reunion show here in Hollywood. I hurried my ass down to the show and caught among the more
blistering sets of adrenaline-fueled, kick ass rock n' roll I have seen in some time. The band was tight as hell, and Gary was
as maniacal as ever, writhing around the stage like a tortured snake, belting out "Fuck You" lyrics like Iggy Pop on an
8-ball of crack, and causing general mayhem in whatever direction he careened. He destroyed the mic in less than one
verse, threw it at the back of the stage, hitting his own drummer in the eye and causing much blood to flow, all the while
hand delivering shoulda-been hit after shoulda-been hit. After a coupla songs from Social Kill the band announce that
they have a new album out and proceed to plow through some choice material from said release.

And so here we are, the new material. After the show I picked up the album and listened to it all last night and this
morning and I have to say that I am thoroughly blown away. These guys have something that most bands these days can't
dream of, hooks!!!!! They write well-crafted, dynamic songs with plenty of pop hooks laced throughout the brutal metallic
riffs and punky bravado. Kinda like Snot meet the Dead Boys meet Cheap Trick meet D'Generation. It's a lethal combination
and it works. "Number Two" laments the drag of realizing you ain't the apple in your baby's eye anymore over an anthemic
chorus that just won't quit. "Ten Feet Tall" is a bluesy metal riff with some choice Morrison-style crooning. "Starr" is girl
gone bad story gone awry, and "I Don't Wanna Throw Up" is a powerhouse rocker about…well, not wanting to throw up. "I
Just Wanna Be Normal" and "My Life's A Tragedy" are Ramones-ian stomps through Punksville, while "Just For Today" is
pure Motorhead power but with some tasty melody thrown over the top. And for those of you who aren't sure where these
guys are coming from there's "Fuck Everyone" and I guess that just kind of says it all, doesn't it? Shit, there's even a spot-on
cover of Barry Friggin' Manilow's "I Write The Songs" just to piss everyone off. And it'd piss me off too if Gary didn't sing it so
damn good.

If you like straight up rock n' roll with dashes of metal thunder and punk energy thrown in for good measure, then you're
sure to love the hell out of this. If you like killer songs with tons of memorable melodies and hooks up the wazoo, then you
will Cream Magazine all over this hot plate of rock! Go get yourself a slice, bro!

*****