Reviews

Closer

Bad Brains Legends From the End of Time 12″

No, this is not the U.S. band of fame, but a pop punk neo-’60s band. At times they sound like LOVE, especially the Arthur Lee-type vocal inflection, though the music is a bit more modern. I knew that France was isolated musically, but this is a bit much!

Fixed Up Fixed Up LP

This band reminds me most of the earliest incarnation of the FLAMIN’ GROOVIES (circa 1967-’71), with their rockin’ R’n’B. The singer has a definite ROY LONEY feel to his voice, which has to be more than a coincidence. OK, but not as cool as the originators.

Fixed Up On Your Line / New Two 7″

Sounding a lot like the FLAMIN’ GROOVIES in both their early ’70s “Slow Death” sound and their later jangly guitar stage, this single is pretty rockin’. While they don’t flip out totally, it’s good, powerful R’n’B rockin’, especially the B-side.

Les Prives No Time / Song for Jeff 7″

A good rockin’ pop-punk song with ’60s influences on the A-side, a more contemporary, ultra-fast-paced pop-punk tune on the flip. The latter is pop only in form, as the delivery propels it well into the ’80s.

Les Thugs Radical Hystery 12″

Awesome! As with their incredible 7”, these eight songs combine the power and freshness of ’77 punk with the pop songwriting mastery of the VELVET UNDERGROUND, producing crunching, up-tempo, and harmonious ravers. They’ll knock your socks off.

The Barracudas Mean Time LP

Like their previous releases, this album evokes the ’60s, but their earlier fixation with surf music has been replaced with a folk-rock obsession. There’s some great material here, especially “Grammar of Misery,” “Shades of Today,” and “Eleventh Hour,” but there’s also quite a bit of chaff. If you like FLAMIN’ GROOVIES, you’ll go for the BARRACUDAS.

The Barracudas Endeavor to Persevere LP

If you’re familiar with the FLAMIN’ GROOVIES’ Shake Some Action album, you’ll have a general idea what this third Barracudas long-player sounds like. They even look like the GROOVIES! Personally, I think a lot of the material here is pedestrian—it certainly doesn’t even begin to approach their best—but if you like that melodic, jangly-guitar folk-rockish genre, some of it might click.

The Pharaohs Real Things 12″

Most of the six songs included here are a bit annoying. While the instrumentation is of a ’60s derivation—kind of more flaccid EASYBEATS—the vocals are too “clean” for my taste. But on one song, “Car Crash,” it all works together, producing one eerie classic. Worth the price alone.