Ringers: Opposite to my usual slide rule with things of this nature, the closer The Ringers get towards The Clash, the more they sound like a band making music on their own terms. It’s almost like they’ve found the key to the secret decoder ring that Rancid was fiddling around with for years. And with Saint Joe Strummer’s passing, I like hearing that banner being re-hoisted oh, so well. Totally on target. Blotto: Japan is a planet where echoes of America’s musical past can tidal wave on a 2008 shore without losing any of its initial energy. How does a band sound like themselves—Blotto’s a force to be reckoned with by themselves—but also seem to be sharing the microphones and amplification with The Replacements and The Jam in a way those bands never quite sounded? I don’t know; I’m no musical genius. But I do know that I like it.
–todd (Snuffy Smiles)