Minnesota’s L’Assassins have a clear mission statement. Their surfy girl-power tunes fall somewhere between The Cramps and Annette Funicello, and their aesthetic falls somewhere between Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! and Beach Blanket Bingo. The fuzzy, DIY sensibility of the band’s previous efforts served up a tasty cocktail of dirty, campy, self-aware homage; this single steers them closer to the realm of style over substance, its newfound polish canceling out much of the messy exuberance that made L’Assassins’ gimmick work. The accompanying music video for “Fire of Love” follows suit, portraying the band’s members less as tough, inhabited characters and more as pinned-up Masuimi Max clones. The higher production value does no favors for the music either, which now evokes the yeah-okay-we-get-it of HorrorPops as much as the transformative energy of The Sonics. While “Fire of Love” and “Liar” are still catchy, solidly composed songs, the dash of sandy grit that once made L’Assassins’ rebelitas-without-a-cause image resonate has begun melting down into a glossy veneer that’s just not as fun or memorable.
–Kelley O’Death (Piñata, pinatarecords.blogspot.com)