HAYLEY AND THE CRUSHERS: Cool/Lame: CD

If I am allowed to generalize my Hayley And The Crushers experience in a tragically mundane but nevertheless effective manner, I’d say they were a somewhat less ’60s-dependent version of Shannon And The Clams, albeit one with vocals significantly more apt to be on key. If I pay attention a bit more, I can discern bits of early Blondie in the mix—i.e., vaguely dangerous urban imagery (“Parking Structure Girl” “Threat Level Red”) pleasingly drizzled atop a sweet crunch of indeterminate nutritional value—plus the occasional glimmer of a Lene Lovich-like otherworldliness (“Ten Thirty-Nine”). Once in a while, something is good enough that it straight-up whaps me upside the head (“Bad Girls” “Cool Is the New Lame”) like The Like minus the cool dresses (which wouldn’t’ve gone all that well with the beards anyway). My takeaway is that there are a lot of cool things happening on this record, if you are paying attention to it—but it’s fairly easy to have the record just slide into the background on you, and then you’re like “yeah, yeah, Shannon And The Clams, whatever” and you’re not really engaging, and a shocking disservice is done to the cause of Rock. Sorry, Rock! I think the presence of such a well-worn Ramones cover might be part of the problem; it seems to suggest that it’s fine to not take the album altogether seriously. Shoulda went with “Scattergun.” Oh well, crush on, you crazy diamonds! BEST SONG: “Bad Girl.” BEST SONG TITLE: “Parking Structure Girl.” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Their cover of “Teenage Lobotomy” is listed simply as “Lobotomy.” Odd.Rev. Nørb (Eccentric Pop)