ROXIES, THE: Don’t Wanna Dance Because I’m Told To: LP

May 24, 2022

The German band I’ve been listening to the most in calendar year 2022 has been The Stripes (aka the answer to the trivia question “to what band did international ’80s pop icon Nena belong before she got rich and famous?”), from calendar year 1980. And, while it would be a bit of a stretch to start talking about Berlin’s Roxies in the same breath as The Stripes (that Stripes album is pretty fricking good), it’s not such a stretch that I’d be embarrassing myself (or them) by making the comparison. A lot of these tunes are catchy enough that if some merry prankster told you that you were listening to a compilation of rare and desirable late ’70s/early-’80s punk/mod/power pop tracks, you’d likely have no overt reason to doubt them, which is hardly a bad thing. The tunes are upbeat, and tend to be rooted in punkish simplicity—which, on one hand, keeps them tethered to a familiar universe we all kinda know, but, on the other hand, also keeps them from exhibiting any legit, I dunno, transcendence to some kind of super-evolved next-level existence or what-have-you. I like it a lot, but not to the point where I feel inclined to grab passers-by by the lapels and scream the band’s name into their faces (although maybe I will do that, just for jolly). I think if they could coax maybe ten percent more razzle-dazzle out of their songs, they’d have something pretty special. Hey, transcendence is merely 9.9 red balloons away! BEST SONG: “Beat of the Street.” BEST SONG TITLE: “Underdog.” I don’t know, I just love his cartoons. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Collectively, the band member names have one total umlaut. –Rev. Nørb (Dirt Cult / Family Spree)

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