Veteran rocker C.J. Ramone shines on ‘Last Chance to Dance’

CJ Ramone‘Last Chance to Dance’
C.J. Ramone (Fat Wreck Chords)
3 stars out of 5

At the end of the 1980s, American punk icons The Ramones were running on fumes. Their 1989 release “Brain Drain” was a dud and longtime bassist Dee Dee Ramone decided to leave the band. The rest of the guys tabbed 25-year-old Christopher Joseph Ward to replace Dee Dee and christened him C.J. Ramone.

CJ Ramone CDC.J. remained with the band until The Ramones called it quits in 1996, playing on late-era gems “Mondo Bizarro” and “Adios Amigos!” The former Marins has continued to hone his musical skills over the past 18 years, releasing his solo debut in 2012 and solid sophomore slab “Last Chance to Dance.”

In true Ramones fashion, the 12-track release speeds by in just 29 minutes, but there’s lots of high-octane music along the way. With 11 original tunes highlighted by “Won’t Stop Swinging,” “Mr. Kalashnikov” and “You Own Me,” along with a by-the-numbers cover of Alice Cooper’s “Long Way to Go,” C.J. does nothing to tarnish his legacy. Keep on rocking!

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