Although the ’70s Senders never broke out of the New York club circuit, the unreconstructed rock’n’roll quartet left behind the Seven Song Super Single as a delightful, all too brief, memento. The rambunctious blend of originals and oldies (Little Richard, Howlin’ Wolf et al.) disproves the conventional wisdom that classicism has to be stuffy; the energy level here matches that of the Ramones in their prime. Bands will continue in R&B and rockabilly no matter what the wave, but few will match the verve of the Senders.
In the mid-’80s, Senders singer Philippe Marcade led the Backbones, using a saxophone player to spice up rough’n’ready soul covers (Ike Turner, Chips Moman, Jerry Ragovoy) and exciting ’60s-styled rock originals on the powerpacked album, which captures the music’s feel as well as its sound.
A few years later, the Senders — three old members plus a new bassist — reconvened. Recorded live at CBGB in August 1988, Do the Sender Thing! is a tight, driving rock’n’roll/blues record (kudos to guitarist Wild Bill Thompson) in the Dr. Feelgood/Little Bob Story vein. Only problem: the performances are much hotter than the sound.
Improving on the UK-only Outrageous & Contagious compilation, the double-disc All Killer No Filler is a generous grab-bag of righteous Senders slop: the 1980 mini-album, a batch of live tracks recorded at a 1978 Max’s gig with Johnny Thunders wailing along and a full album’s worth of raucous live and rampant studio tracks (hard though it is to tell the difference) from various sessions and shows. Sprinkling a few choice covers (“I Can Only Give You Everything,” “I’m Gonna Be a Wheel Someday”) amid antagonistic originals of his own like “You Really Piss Me Off,” “Don’t Fuck With Me” and “Don’t Make Me Mad,” Marcade whips up a cyclone of alcohol, smoke, sweat and frenzy, all played at breakneck speed with complete abandon. No points here for witty lyricism or subtle melodies: this is 150-proof bug-eyed old-school rock and roll dug up from the dirt.