CJ Ramone is His Own Man on American Beauty

American Beauty

CJ Ramone

Fat Wreck Chords, 2017

“Let’s Go” gets this party started. There’s an urgent refrain, an itch being scratched and a conspicuous sense of anticipation. There’s no reason to abstain, so allow this to take up permanent residence on your music listening CJ CVR 968_coverdevice of choice.

“Tommy’s Gone” is a quiet, tender, and deeply personal number, reflecting on the last original Ramone to check out. Original drummer, Tommy Ramone, a.k.a Erdélyi, left the band after the fourth album because the grueling touring schedule was wearing on him. But he remained involved with the band as a producer and it’s legacy to the end of his life.

“Run Around” is what would happen if Bruce Springsteen locked himself in a room with the entire Ramones catalog for a week. And it is perfect. “Steady as She Goes” reflects on life on the road, and all that makes keeps it interesting.

Both “Moral of the Story” and “Pony” have CJ’s individual stamp on them. You can see his personality truly shine through while remaining true to the surname which he earned on endless tours. He foregoes the cartoonish imagery which his other band was famous for, but doesn’t try to tackle the troubles of the world. This disc does everything on hopes and expects from a Ramones alumnus’s legacy. There’s catchy pop songs fed through wood chipper guitars and reliably forceful rhythms.