ANGELIC UPSTARTS: Sons of Spartacus: CD

Jul 16, 2009

Now I know these blokes have been around forever, carrying the proud street punk torch and squashing nazi skinheads beneath their jack boots whenever possible, but I don’t know if I’ve ever heard more than a couple of their songs. But I was elated to see their pictures on this disc: they’re unapologetically old, pudgy, ugly and all suffering from male pattern baldness. I was all ready to embrace my new musical heroes and then I hit the play button. Um, looking like the fat middle-aged guys in The Full Monty is one thing, but to look like that and sound fat and middle-aged is another thing entirely. It doesn’t start out too bad — mid-tempo-ish and a bit workman-like — but then the wheels break off and the whole thing slides off into the ditch when they pull out a sappy power ballad that could have been penned by (ugh!) Brett Michaels from Poison. I guess it’s kind of funny to hear some guys who look like this doing a hair metal style power ballad, but I’d like to hear their stuff from back when they had a little more hair and fewer chins. And zero power ballads. They probably tore it up back then. But as it is now, I’m sorry to report, these guys seem like they should share a crate of viagra with Bob Dole.

 –aphid (Insurgence)