Given that the only other record i have by these early ‘80s marvels—caught, as they were, in that wiggy limbo period between the collapse of ‘70s punk and the ascent of hardcore—was their best-known effort, “Calling Dr. Howard” ((you know, the one that goes “calling Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard” with a sleeve depicting the lead singer puking in front of a Three Stooges photo?)), i was wholly unprepared to find out what these guys really were if you dug a little deeper than the one goofy 45: An honest-to-Sharona, completely credible POWER POP band. I had no clue! I just assumed they were jokers like Meaty Buys or something. And, whilst the band was indeed a trifle more Manitoba-esque than the accepted norm ((i can’t see many of the skinny tie brigade touching a song like “Sweet Little User” in this life or the next)), i’d say a good two-thirds of this album is straight-up power pop—we’ll say the Fools meet the Proof—and fine shit at that. I don’t usually have high hopes for retrospective albums pieced together from miscellaneous thirty-year-old demo recordings, but this one not only qualifies as a keeper, but verges on being a lost classic of the genre. Color yourself kept, AND with a poly bag! BEST SONG: “Sweet Little User” BEST SONG TITLE: “I’ve Had It,” which is a Bell Notes cover, but still. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: The guy’s Oakland Raiders “Silver and Black Attack” T-shirt depicted on the cover is so stupid it’s cool.
–norb (Cheap Rewards)