The Kids - The Kids LP 2007 reissue (Havoc/Sonik Chicken Shrimp)
To call this record a punk classic is, of course, subjective. Yes, the curled lipped punk surliness of prime '70s punk is evident in the attitude and execution of the music, but, to me, this is simply a really good--but not classic--slab of '50s inspired rock 'n' roll with a twist of punk mixed in for good measure (wince worthy lyrics included).
Simply put, the music found in the grooves of this fine record is anthemic, lively, unsophisticated, warts 'n' all punk rock that evokes--at least to my ears--the fiery spirit of some mighty musical mavericks: Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Damned and The Ramones (heck, throw in a some Pistols for good measure).
The Kids play a blistering brand of punk rock that is loud, swift and surly. It is the sound of a band hopped up on cheap booze, bravado, youthful energy and a strong dose of cut-price speed. The music isn't anti-social or nihilistic; rather, it's music that embraces the communal spirit. It is music that--like all good music should--inspires people to dance, engage in drunken revelry and enjoy the company of the opposite sex. I think even old Chucky B. would be roundly impressed by these brash and bold Euro punk rockers!
Having said this, The Kids cannot match the adrenaline fueled mayhem of the first Damned record nor can they equal the aggressive energy, street smarts and pop sensibility of The Ramones. How could they? Both bands produced genre defining debuts, records that are primo slabs of punk rock godliness! Christ, the Damned even had Rat Scabies, the Keith Moon of punk rock, on drums!
For me, the beauty of this record lies in the energy and simplicity of the music. The songs, for the most part, are quite good and are played with attitude, energy and conviction (terrible lyrics included). The Kids should be commended for successfully amalgamating (and unapologetically embracing) the primitive energy of '50s rock 'n' roll with the attitude, angst and working-class grit of '70s punk rock. Just ignore the terribly dated lyrics. (MG)
Mob 47 - Karnvapen Attack 7" reissue 2007 (Havoc)
At long last, we get a legitimate reissue of this hardcore classic by the fine folks at Havoc. In what is now a common trait in Northern European punk, this young band took the raging power of Discharge and injected it with the hyper speed of North American bands such as the Neos and MDC. The result was a furious assault that set the bar for all Scandinavian hardcore. The influence and importance of this Swedish trio cannot be overstated. Recommended. (RA)
The Sadies - New Seasons LP 2007 (Yep Roc)
With each new album, the Sadies are more confident and rely more on their secret weapon: their songwriting. Any idiot can acknowledge that they have been the country's best live band for years, but now the novelty instrumentals and well-chosen country covers have given way to fantastic psychedelic/country folk/rock n' roll masterpieces. Every new album is better than the last, so let's hope they stick around for at least another decade. (RA)