The Stooges' Ron Asheton, Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore & Steve Shelley, Mudhoney's Mark Arm, Minutemen's Mike Watt, Sean Lennon, producer/Gumball leader Don Fleming and Jim Dunbar formed The Wylde Ratttz in 1997 to record tracks by The Stooges for Todd Haynes' loosely-based-on-Bowie glam rock biopic Velvet Goldmine. As their official bio goes, "With Ron Asheton as the secret weapon, the songs were easily dispatched and the band quickly organized a second session that produced a mixture of originals brought in by the band members, covers by The Pretty Things (one of Ron’s fav bands), and 40 minutes of killer instrumental tracks."

Only one of those recordings, their version of "TV Eye," made it onto the official Velvet Goldmine soundtrack but they've just released an album's worth of material recorded in 1997 via Bandcamp. As you can imagine with this lineup and the group's raison d'etre, this is ripping protopunk stuff that we're finally getting to officially hear. Proceeds from it benefit the Ron Asheton Foundation which carries on charity work that Ron spent many years quietly doing in the Ann Arbor community where he had such strong ties.

Three years after this band happened, and after he got really sick and recovered, Mike Watt again teamed with Ron Asheton (and J. Mascis) to play Stooges covers in J. Mascis and The Fog. Three years after that, Watt became an actual member of the Stooges. Thurston has played Stooges songs with Watt and Mascis on other occasions too.

Listen to the Wylde Ratttz album below.