ANDY McCOY (Hanoi Rocks) – 21st Century Rocks [CleoRecs release +2] (2023)

ANDY McCOY (Hanoi Rocks) - 21st Century Rocks [CleoRecs release +2] (2023) - full

Cleopatra Records is releasing for the first time in the US ex-Hanoi Rocks guitarist ANDY McCOY album “21st Century Rocks” including bonus tracks not present into any previous pressing, plus refreshed cover art. Entirely recorded in Andy’s homeland Finland with Finnish musicians, this gives the album a ‘special vibe’ pretty much like his former band sound.
Andy McCoy is, obviously, most well known for his association with the legendary Hanoi Rocks for whom he was the lead guitarist and main songwriter. However, that is only part of a remarkable career where he has been on the go since 1977.
It’s more than a decade since Hanoi Rocks performed their last hurrah and put the band to bed with a final show at the Tavastia in Helsinki. As solo artist, Andy has been releasing standalone singles in recent years, however this is his first solo album since ‘Building On Tradition’ that came out way back in 1995.
And what a welcomed surprise it is: Sherriff McCoy, with his 60-a-day vocals take us through various tales in various styles on ’21st Century Rocks’, and this is a real treat.

With the opening coming in the form of a brief blast of tribal sounds on the title track you know you are in for a different ride. But that didn’t last. It was replaced with heavy, crunching riffs and develops into the perfect song to start us off. Andy McCoy’s vocals are raspy, wasted, and that guitar solo… no one plays rock n’ roll quite like Andy McCoy! Killer stuff indeed.

The ghost of his bastard past is never far away. ‘Undertow’ comes on like ‘A Day Late, A Dollar Short’, there’s even a sax solo to boot. I wonder if it originated from those sessions. Whether it did or not, it’s a cool tune for sure.
Then ‘Batteram’ takes things way back in time. That melody comes on like Hanoi’s ‘Desperado’ to these ears. And the way he sings “round” and “ground” in the chorus with an unmistakeable accent is cool as f@ck.

Andy’s songwriting and guitar playing has always been wide, taking in Eastern, flamenco and even and reggae influences, and he certainly creates a few more mental beats to make a diverse album. Here McCoy explores the obscure and recaptures the quirky influences that peppered Hanoi’s earlier albums.
Just check out ‘Maria Maria’. Mariachi vibes all over as trumpets and strummed acoustics take us into spaghetti western territory. The Urban Voodoo Machine comes to mind as Andy transports us to the Mexican border to smoke a doobie or two, down tequila and jam out in the scorching sun with a chiquita or two. Great song.

McCoy whips out the slide with great effect on ‘Bible and a Gun’ before following it up with the slightly (only slightly, mind you) more introspective ‘The Hunger’ which itself is interspersed with some funky riffs.
With ‘Give a Minute, Steal a Year’ we have something which is the nearest thing to a ballad we get on 21st Century Rocks. It is a beautiful hypnotic track layered with piano and acoustics.
‘Love It Loud’ starts out in a bit of a reggae style with McCoy even singing with a Jamaican slant. It soon moves on to a more rocking track (thankfully) but it shows his willingness to try anything.

As we reach the final stretch it comes to mind that Andy McCoy actually comes on like vintage Alice Cooper, which is something that I never realized. Take away the smoky sax on ‘Gimme Time’ and listen intently to closer ‘This is Rock ‘n’ Roll’ with its gang backing vocals and Detroit garage rock delivery and maybe you’ll catch my drift.

Obviously, ‘21st Century Rocks’ will be measured up against Michael Monroe’s recent album ‘One Man Gang’. Monroe has an established career as a solo artist and has one of the best live bands in the business, and Andy is…well he’s just Andy McCoy, the guitar-slinging outlaw!
Let’s not take anything away from either camp. Both are living legends that together produced some of the greatest albums in my record collection and influenced a whole generation of bands.
If you like authentic glam rock n’ roll with an intelligence rarely seen in the genre then “21st Century Rocks” is highly recommended with Andy McCoy on top form.


01 – 21st Century Rocks
02 – Undertow
03 – Seven Seas
04 – Batteram
05 – Maria Maria
06 – Bible and a Gun
07 – The Hunger
08 – Give a Minute, Steal a Year
09 – Love It Loud
10 – Soul Satisfaction
11 – Gimme Time
12 – This is Rock’n Roll
13 – The Way I Feel
14 – Wild Talk

Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Percussion, Glockenspiel – Andy McCoy
Backing Vocals – Gustaf Standertskjöld, Janna Hurmerinta, Sammy Aaltonen
Bass – Matt “Matty J” Janaitis, Niclas Etelävuori
Bass, Percussion – Sami Yaffa
Drums – Gustaf Standertskjöld, Roni Suhonen
Keyboards – Pate Kivinen
Pedal Steel Guitar – Olli Haavisto
Percussion – Barry Kling (tracks: A5), Janne Haavisto
Piano – Esko “Ego” Toivonen*, Pate Kivinen (tracks: B1)
Saxophone [Sax] – Jone Takamäki, Olli Ojajärvi
Synths – Pate Kivinen



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