...as much as Mike and John from the Hentchmen were the delightful embodiment of Chip & Ernie from My Three Sons made Rock in their previous band, so, in a miraculously inverted manner, do they now appear to we, the masses, as a titanic, granite-pectoral-muscled rhythm section of fucking ROCK, BABY, in their current band. Add to that a guitar player who sounds like he absorbed every relevant scrap of data from every great three-letter-first-named lead guitarist in history (i’m thinking “Ted” and “Ace” here, but you’re welcome to bring your own findings to the table), and it is apparent that a unit of Rock Most Imposing has been manifested. However, the REAL keystone in this Granite Arch O’ Boogie is one Miss Wendy Case, a shingle-throated chanteuse of such awe-inspiring HARDNESS and RAWITUDE that she makes Patti Smith seem like one of those buxom German broads whom one sees depicted toting around trays full of thick-bottomed beer mugs during Oktoberfest, and so blonde that she makes Penelope Houston seem like a brunette. I mean, fuck—Ian Stuart WISHES his vocals sounded this tuff on the first Skrewdriver album! If this chick gets locked up in the same cell as Angry Anderson of Rose Tattoo, it’s Angry who’s getting fucked up the pooper! Wendy Case is the fucking SHIT, and, when the band backs the intensity level down to mere Orange Alert status, it is apparent that we stand in the majestic presence of the thermonuclear-powered Faces of our time (although, as a gambling man, if you want my best guess on how many ounces of whatever that Wendy’s stomach would offer up if they pumped it after she passed out onstage, i’m advising you to bet the under). Needless to say, this might be the first time ever it could be said that a bitch has been the Paybacks. Okay, sorry, i couldn’t stop myself. BEST SONG: “Me” BEST SONG TITLE: “Jumpy,” because it sounds like something Rene Hall would’ve written on the Unitar. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: For the back-cover-gazers among you, “Celebrate Summer” is not a misspelled Hüsker Dü cover, but is, in fact, a most outstanding rendition of the last T. Rex single to be released in Marc Bolan’s lifetime. Double kudos for the band, as i never saw that song as anything other than a missed cover opportunity for the Silicon Teens.
–norb (Get Hip)