The Flare-Up Whip 'Em Hard, Whip 'Em Good

The Flare-Up Whip 'Em Hard, Whip 'Em Good

It's about that time when the second generation of blaring garage rock bands pick up on what acts such as the Hives and Hellacopters were struggling to push onto the world over the past decade. Thankfully, in the case of fellow Swedes the Flare-Up, they capture the most important aspect of that drive and atmosphere: great tunes delivered with a tangible live element. On Whip 'Em Hard, Whip 'Em Good, the outfit embellish their basic rock'n'roll with an unvarnished attitude and sensibility that assure they're just as great live as within the confines of these ten tracks. Utilizing the winning combination of a crooning vocalist wailing in weird staccato over chugging, rosy riffs and subtle keyboards, songs range from the rockers-doing-James-Brown rage of "Put In A Letter" to Abbey Road-influenced Beatles operatics on the title tune. Great songwriters and even better performers, virility and enthusiasm permeate this sophomore full-length, kind of like a classier Mooney Suzuki or what everyone hoped the Strokes would have been at their onset, were they not so mired in heroin chic. (Criminal)