Randy Randy the Band

Nothing much has changed in the Randy camp since they first burst onto the scene with their 1998 Burning Heart debut, You Can’t Keep A Good Band Down. Still kicking out the mid-tempo melodic punk rock like the Buzzcocks or Stiff Little Fingers, there is a noticeable improvement in the songwriting here from the disappointingly mediocre pseudo-garage rock of 2001’s Human Atom Bombs. While the band aren’t the type to boldly explore any new sonic territory, they still manage to spice up such tracks as "Going Out With The Dead” with the full-on cheese factor of duelling guitar solos. "Teenage Tiger” pays homage to Little Richard with its nonsensical lyrical styling, and "Losing My Mind” calls up the filthy guitar solos of Greg Ginn and Dez Cadena. Nearly every song on this record benefits from the ample vocal abilities of Stefan Granberg, Johan Gustavsson and Johan Brändström, allowing for inventive trade-offs during songs like "Punk Rock High,” and harmonies that recall early NOFX on tracks such as "I Raise My Fist.” While Randy’s politics have been front and centre and various points throughout their career, this record seems to make less direct hits, rather painting broad strokes of socialism and anti-Americanism. A solid release from a generally consistent band, designed to keep fists and the air and animals from being eaten. (Fat Wreck)