Rydells - Go Mental (Cover Artwork)


Go Mental (2005)


Taking their cue from punk rock greats the Ramones, this New Hampshire trio exudes a youthful exuberance and an unmistakable three-chord obsession that together makes for a very catchy and energetic first release.

Apart from their strong admiration for the Ramones, the band's true inspiration lies in a less obvious connection to late `50s and early `60s rock and roll. Their group name was in fact taken from the fictitious high school featured in the classic movie "Grease."

The Rydells formed back in 2003 with founding members Denny and Jimmy Rydell. The original lineup consisted of these two musicians along with bassist Billy Rydell who would later be replaced by Andy Rydell.

The three pride themselves on adopting and staying true to the exact formula used by the Ramones, which is a slight rarity when compared to the number of similar acts that are out there today.

According to the band, Denny uses all down-strokes on the guitar (just like Johnny), Jimmy plays 8th notes on the high hat and emulates the classic Tommy/Marky sound behind the kit and Andy also uses all down-strokes and plays the bass in octaves, much like Dee Dee once used to.

Go Mental is a sound and considerably strong first release. It contains 14 up-tempo tracks served up in under 30 minutes.

Denny's playing speed and quick chord changes tear through every track and give off a live feel with very little polish. The rest of the band plays beautifully and only add to Denny's unique and aggressive vocal style.

Some of the record's songs include "Braindead," "School Sucks," "Shock Therapy at the Zoo," "M.I.A." and "Dame Darcy," which was a song written by GG Allin and the Jabbers' guitarist Chris Lamy. Overall, this record makes for a fun listen and showcases impeccable talent and a dedication that only true fans of the genre can rightly possess.

While the Rydells' sound is hardly innovative or inventive, the band stands as one of the only true acts to embrace and pay tribute to the Ramones without appearing snobby and generic in the process. Their intentions are seemingly pure and the band appears to be completely honest in their approach and style.

The Rydells' trademark sound lends to the notion that if the Ramones had put out an album between their first effort and Leave Home, Go Mental would've been it.