GEARS, THE: When Things Get Ugly: CD

No matter who you are, thirty-four years is a helluva long time to go between albums. Add the fact that your last album lo those many moons ago, in this case their debut, was a bona fide fuggin’ punk classic and you’re staring down the barrel at some Hindenburg-level disastrous shit. Luckily, we’re talking about the Gears, a band that have stayed relatively active over the past few decades, their one-upping the Dickies’ lag time between albums notwithstanding. Those looking for something as mind-shatteringly life changing asRockin’ at Ground Zeromight be a wee bit disappointed, but the rest of us punters looking for a really good (Northeast) Los Angeles punk album will be more than satisfied. Their core sound is still very much in evidence, as are their little toe-dips into rockabilly and other outside genres, but they’ve added a bit more country twang and other colors that occasionally recall the efforts of sister band the D.I.’s, which nonetheless fit right in with the Ramones-addled anthems they apparently can still toss out like hot chicks flinging Mardi Gras baubles. Disaster easily averted. This bad boy rocks.

 –jimmy (Wondercap)