Electric Frankenstein Annie's Grave

The self-appointed generals of "the new rock revolution" are back with their second full-length on Victory Records. It's more of the same hard and heavy punk meets rock that we've come to expect from these war-horses, but it seems to be lacking the punchy spark that records like the great Listen Up Baby EP on Man's Ruin had a few years back. The production is as heavy as it gets, with Phil Caivano from Monster Magnet at the controls, and the playing is tight as hell, as songs like "Fistful Of Rock" (the rhythm guitar player puts out the compilation series of the same name) and "Third Generation Nation," a Dead Boys cover, clearly illustrate. There, however, is just something missing here and after many listens it becomes clear that something is fun. Bands like the Ramones and the Damned had a sense of humour to go along with their fast and furious tunes, and that's what helped separate them from the droning rock and metal bands of the day. A grinding, muscle-bound, almost brain dead vibe runs through this record, making it a chore to get through, with no clear point of view except that "rock must be saved at all costs!" Maybe the struggle of fighting against the evil forces of pop music has burned out these New Jersey boys, so here's some advice: if it gets too serious, it just ain't good punk rock anymore. (Victory)