SORE THUMBS, THE: Listen Up!!: CD

First heard this band on the Pirates Press 7” box set a while back and thought they were pretty good. Two songs on that, fourteen on this, but there’s not a dull spot on the record. Think Hostage or TKO Records, wide-legged guitar stances, broad ties and dress shirts rolled up to show tat sleeves. At least, that’s what I get from it; it’s SoCal (does anyone use that term anymore without cringing?) 77 punk with a modern flair, with just a few jagged teeth around the edges to keep from getting a “power pop” reference. And don’t think I’m slagging it, because I’m not—this shit’s riddled with more hooks than my grandpa’s fucking tacklebox; they know how to craft a song, they make a hell of a sweet racket for a three piece, they grasp when to allow one instrument to take precedence over the others, and the lyrics are pretty articulate and sincere in a genre that relies maybe a little too much on the bland “rock’n’roll party” shtick. They make it to Portland anytime soon, I’ll be glad to drunken high-five em and blather on about how awesome the show was—if Listen Up!! is any indication at all, it would be.

 –keith (Radio)