The Batusis Batusis

Comprised of NYC punk rock legends Sylvain Sylvain and Cheetah Chrome, the Batusis have a lot riding on their heroin-chic shoulders. Will this outfit embrace the snot-nosed attitude of the Dead Boys? Will they ride the slacker line of the Heartbreakers? Surprisingly, the answer is a solid no to both. Slinky and loose, while still incredibly refined and inspiring, this eponymous four-track EP is some of the best work either of these renowned musicians has released in a quarter-century. A wild blast of juke joint-infused garage rock replete with plinky piano fills, tambourine shots and hooting background vocals, Batusis come across like the American blues-inspired rock'n'roll the Rolling Stones have been struggling to achieve, with widely varying results, for decades. Yet these guys do it with such confident ease one can't help but become enthralled with the shuffling rhythms, tastefully smokin' guitar solos and general feel of relaxed revelry. As amazing as it is surprising, Batusis are a wonderful, albeit ephemeral, shot of graceful gutter rock. (Smog Veil)