FRONTKICK: Underground Stories: CD

I gotta be totally honest—I was wholly prepared to slam this right into the ground. I mean, it looks like some faux Hellcat release, with its punker pinup boy with zipper pants rockin’ a starred stereo on the front cover and black-and-white motif on the back. But then I put it on and, frankly, it’s not bad. Sure, it’s got that post-retro-oi/‘77 feel that seems to be all the rage, but there’s also a little more going on here. Listen closely, and you can almost hear a dash of After the Lights Go Out-era Channel 3 mooshed in there. It don’t ever reach light-speed in tempo like that band could when they were in the mood, but they’ve got at least a comparable amount of catchy hooks, and that makes all the difference. Also included is a faithful cover of the Clash’s “Career Opportunities,” which made me smile, ‘cause their Spanish accents render the word “jobs” into “yobs,” and there’s also a hidden track in Spanish that’s pretty good, too. I’m mightily impressed and this ‘un’s a keeper.

 –jimmy (Bronco Bullfrog)