Smogtown Domesticviolenceland

It still amazes me how back in the ’60s and early ’70s all those white British boys were trying to sing like grizzled, black Americans, and now we have a bunch of Americans trying their damnedest to sing like working class British punks. This California quartet, all in their mid-20s, have got the punk thing down cold: plenty of relentless riffing, a boogie-heavy rhythm section and vocals packed with phlegm and vitriol that keep them out of the hardcore camp and firmly in late ’70s punk. In a nice twist, their songs tackle middle-class angst, which can be as stultifying as any. If they had only been able to come up with a little more variation and originality in their riffage the LP wouldn’t have devolved into one long, angry blur before reaching the end. Good try, though. (Alive!)