Ramones - Subterranean Jungle (Cover Artwork)


Subterranean Jungle (1983)


The Ramones had a tough early '80s. During punk rocks superseding into new wave, they tried to keep up while totally changing their original hard and fast sound. But after witnessing their voluptuous experiment with 1980's End of the Century go a-rye, the Ramones had trouble trying to finding their place.

Subterranean Jungle, thankfully, is great. The guitar sound on is matchlessly, poppily layered and aggressive, and Dee Dee's bass stands out almost as much as it did on Ramones. The drums are overblown; the snare is so strained, you might start to believe that Marky is playing with paint brushes. Producers Glen Kolotkin and Ritchie Cordell tried to capture their late '60s bubblegum heyday, with the drum signatures, jingle and Joey's always lovable croon. It works, but doesn't quite fit into the Punk genre.

This is still a great album, song to song, although "Time Bomb" hits a low point with questionable lyrics and "I Need Your Love" is a sleeper. The best of the album can be heard during the two '60s covers, "Little Bit O' Soul" and "Time Has Come Today." Even after that sequence, there are still classics like "My-My Kind of a Girl" and "Everytime I Eat Vegetables It Makes Me Think of You," which show that the Ramones could still joke light-heartedly about Thorazine and shock treatment. Even the cover of the foursome on a heavily-graffitied subway train shows the combination of humor and darkness that makes "Jungle" what it is.

This is a very good album, containing some of the most straight-up hard rocking the Ramones have ever recorded. The fans are the ones who got it wrong.