CRUISIN' FOR A BRUISIN' - The Bobbyteens (Estrus)
This album is dirty, ugly, raw and nasty. And, to quote Lemmy, that's the way I like it. The Bobbyteens are the chicks (and one guy, ex-Mummie Russell Quan) at high school that ignored contemporary fashion statements, spent their money on obscure LPs rather than teenage magazines and wasted their spare hours in a room playing weird music as loud as possible to counteract shithouse acoustics. And now that they've got themselves a band, the Bobbyteens are crusin' the streets, looking for a good rockin' time.
This album – I think their fourth long playing release – combines the greasy underbelly of 50s rockabilly with a garage take on the girl pop Shangri-Lahs, the aesthetic beauty (sic) of the Trashwomen and the stripped-back rock'n'roll feel of the Gories.
The guitars are pungent, the percussion tight and laden with cymbal generated excitement, and accentuated by ragged screams that make Frank Black sound like a classically trained alto. Tina Lucchesi's vocals are as rough as an engine that hasn't been oiled for over a year, and in perfect (dis)harmony with the music.
The CD starts with the rollicking "Jenny" (is the mythical Jenny the most championed female in pop music history?), before sliding into faux rock'n'roll erotica in "Hot Sweet 'N' Sicky". "All in the Kiss" is as rough as the morning after a night on smokes and bourbon, while "Where Were You" is the Bobbyteens playing a slow dance at a garage prom night.
"Good Thing Going" channels Pete Towshend's thunderous opening riffs on "I Can't Explain". "He's So Dull" and "Be My Baby Tonight" are the bastard children of the Motown Hit Factory, delivered in a disused car manufacturing plant in Detroit. "Sweet Nothing" isn't sweet at all, but who gives a fuck, and "One Night Stand" is the Ramones playing Chuck Berry to a crowd of drunken teenagers.
"Hate Me Just a Little Bit" is the anti-love song theme that makes a nasty emotional breakup seem just that little bit better. "No Time" takes us to the end of the world, back again, then whacks us across the head with everything the Bobbyteens have.
There's little unique or groundbreaking in this album. But it pretends to be nothing more than it is, and that's why it's worth a listen. All power to the Bobbyteens. - Patrick Emery
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