Chelsea Faster, Cheaper & Better Looking

Blame the Sex Pistols. If they hadn’t have gotten back together, we wouldn’t have an endless stream of pseudo-successful bands reuniting to milk their past glories, no matter how moderate or uninteresting they were. The result was most certainly noticed, as cult punkers Chelsea felt like they should jump on the wagon and belch forth Faster, Cheaper & Better Looking, a flat piece of tripe that is neither confrontational nor powerful. Keeping score, those are two elements punk rock — at least in their day — required to be, well, punk. Simply having a cool sounding cockney accent and a moderately fuzzy Gibson blaring through a Marshall stack does not a punk rocker make. One can’t escape the sentiment that Chelsea have dragged the cash cow into the recording studio kicking and screaming despite losing touch with what their original drive was. It has been over a decade since their last release after all. The requisite three-chord bangers are obvious ("Living In The Urban UK”) but lack any sort of power, playing out as minor tweaks on Chuck Berry riffs that forget to end after a whopping five minutes. A few blazers do infiltrate the mass of boring, predictable blues rock though. "Sod The War” is a gritty, upbeat rocker that deserves second spins but overall, the air of sad nostalgia far outweighs any actual relevance. (TKO)