The Naked Heroes

99 Diamond

by Aaron Basiliere

7 July 2010

cover art

The Naked Heroes

99 Diamond

US: 14 Jul 2009
UK: 14 Jul 2009

The dogged, bluesy, sawdust-joint stomp-rock of Brooklyn-based the Naked Heroes is the creation of husband and wife duo George Michael Jackson and Merica Lee. Chock-full of head-knocking, raucous guitar riffs; sweaty, fist-in-the-air percussion; call-and-response cues akin to AC/DC and ZZ Top, and clocking in at roughly 28 minutes in length, the Heroes’ debut album, 99 Diamond, welds the gas pedal to the floor. The blistering opening title track finds the pair paying homage to their Greenpoint roots as Lee pounds away at her drum kit with an unhinged ferocity that underpins Jackson’s dirty, blues-laden, guitar-slinging and his howling, Nugent-like vocal delivery. “Sheila”, one of the album’s lead-off singles, showcases the Heroes’ fierce, smash-and-grab approach to hard-edged 21st century-style boogie-woogie. The stringent, blues-driven arrangements on “Foxy Moxy” and “Sophisticated Meat Machine” seem like a blatant nod to the late Stevie Ray Vaughan, while “Black Dress” plays like a revamped version of the 1977 classic “Cat Scratch Fever”. Album closer “The Goonhand” is a cymbal-crashing, neo-blues rock barn-burner reminiscent of the Black Keys’ “Busted”. While the album’s length is brief and leaves us wanting more, the Naked Heroes’ 99 Diamond is nothing short of confident, pure, unabashed rock and roll at its finest.

99 Diamond


We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work. We are a wholly independent, women-owned, small company. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing, challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. PopMatters needs your help to keep publishing. Thank you.

//Mixed media

Zeshan B Performs Late Night Set at Mercury Lounge After Colbert

// Notes from the Road

"Powerful Chicago soul-singer dips into the '60s and '70s while dabbling in Urdu, Punjabi and Italian.

READ the article