CLOSE TO BREAKEVIL - The Burnouts (Bad Afro)

Bar patron Brother Ken caught these guys at the 2001 SXSW and was so impressed he hocked a Rock and Roll Disciples disc to grab their debut album, "Go Go Racing". He didn't think their recorded effort lived up to their live performance (though wasn't THAT disappointed that he had to ask for the Disciples disc back), but even without the benefit of having heard "Go Go...", I'll venture the opinion that this is an improvement.

The Burnouts are a four-piece from Denmark and come across like the New Bomb Turks with a hangover. This is brutal, go-for-the-scrote stuff (I was going to write throat, but it's aimed far, far lower) - and it swings. Yeah, punk's not dead but it sounds a lot better with a killer engine room, which is what Helle Hellcat (bass) and Mr Bondo (drums) amount to.

Add Helle's discordant chick back-up vocals, the fuzz attack of Lars Vegas on guitar and the bratty lead voice of JT Crophead and you've got a helluva party. The occasional embellishment - like organ on "Just Like You" - gives it a 60s punk feel that lifts this album above the pack. It's a direction they might want to explore further on Album Number Three, 'cos it shows promise.

And they have songs, too, but where they don't, the energy levels usually make up for it. The opener "Bad Blood" is music to knock out your teeth to. "What I Want" teeters dangerously closer to bluster, but "Return of the Action Man" is a beach party on bad speed while "I Can't Afford It" is a Donnas song without the posturing that takes very little time to get where it's going.

"Shake Your Butt" is 1min55sec of just that. Nice cover of "Carbona, Not Glue", too. Wonder if they'll get to back Turbonegro on the reformation tour? - The Barman