Track Of The Day: Brijitte West And The Desperate Hopefuls
From the punk-glam-pop ashes of NY Loose comes Brijitte West And The Desperate Hopefuls. Still kicking up the dirt with nasty, nascent, yet tuneful, rock’n'roll. Don’t take our word for it, check out the latest Track Of The Day. Click here for previous Tracks Of The Day.
One of the greatest – and most criminally underrated – rock bands of the 1990s were the New York Loose. Punky, glammy, poppy, desperate, depressed, and tragically hip, the NY Loose were fronted by a snarly blonde beauty named Brijitte West.
West was an East Coast Joan Jett, a bad-ass chick with a big guitar and an even bigger attitude. The band rose to prominence quickly, releasing a seminal EP, Loosen Up, on Flipside Records, and signing, soon after, to Hollywood Records, who released their debut album, Year Of The Rat, in 1996.
The band toured relentlessly, with Marilyn Manson, Rev. Horton Heat and many more, but that dreaded rock band cliché – bad management – nobbled them, and they unravelled soon after.
Me, I was a huge fan. West had a knack for connecting with low-ball types like myself. Despite her movie star looks, she was just as confused and pissed-off and disappointed as any other bored 20-something slumming it through the grunge era.
But she was able to coat her punk rock angst with just enough sugar – via Cheap Trick-worthy pop hooks – to make you think there was a light at the end of the tunnel. It was a dark day for rock’n'roll when the Loose decided to call it quits.
Fast forward 10 or so years. Brijitte West is now living in London. After a period of relative quiet, she gets her mojo back. She releases a comprehensive NY Loose collection, Born Too Loose (fun fact: I wrote the liner notes) and starts playing with a new, Brit-centric version of the NY Loose. Turns out, she can still write bad-ass rock’n'roll songs, and she can still play bad-ass rock’n'roll guitar.
After gigging everywhere from London to LA to Madrid, West settles down long enough in 2009 to write her first solo record. She names her new band Brijitte West And The Desperate Hopefuls. How could she not, really?
“I’ve decided, after 20 years of making New York Loose albums, that I should be able to say, ‘Hello, I’m Brijitte West, and I’m making a solo album’,” she says. “It’s been like giving birth, getting this album done, but I am very proud of it.”
Although no firm date has been set for the release of the album Brijitte West And The Desperate Hopefuls, West promises that it will be out soon. She also promises that it will be worth the wait, in more ways than one.
“I’m going to be very sexy on the cover,” the notorious tomboy says. “No more covering it up.”
You can follow Brijitte West’s journey-in-rock on her MySpace page (http://www.myspace.com/brijittewest).
In the meantime, here’s an exclusive track originally slated for inclusion on Sons Of Guns 4 (the acclaimed series of free Classic Rock CDs). Unfortunately, there was a paperwork snafu, and it never made it on the final disc.
“That’s been my entire life,” sighs West. “Snafus.”
You and me both. Here, courtesy of Miss West, is Hard To Believe: