Dead Moon main man Fred Cole doesn't go for also-ran bitch rants. Musicians who whine about how the industry screwed them should remember that they offered up their ass in the first place and would probably do it again. Cole learned his lesson early, turned around, and never looked back. His first two bands -- the Lollipop Shoppe and Zipper -- flirted with major labels through the late 1960s and early '70s, but his unique, warbling vocals and assumption that he's going to do things his way doomed any chance at stardom. Galvanized by the spirit of the late-'70s punk scene, he formed the Rats, which soon mutated into one of the most inspirational bands on the indie scene, Dead Moon.
Cole, his wife Toody, and their drumming pal, Loomis, took to the hills of Oregon, bought their own vinyl-record press, and have self-released more than 15 albums on their Tombstone label since 1988, with no signs of stopping. Aside from the admirably self-sufficient lifestyle and the fact that the band members are spying 60 while still gladly playing dank bars, the music itself is incredibly and oddly infectious. Here's three geezers in torn black tees and leather pants that look like they haven't been removed in decades, long grimy hair waving way down over their faces, stomping out '60s garage slop-ups of AC/DC. Yet it all turns into an arm-in-arm hoedown every time. Their records -- including the recently released Dead Ahead -- are always reliable trash-rock classics, clogged with desperate tales of broken hearts and the toilet flush of Western civilization, all codified with take-it-or-leave-it mono production. Simply put, there is no other band like them.