Sunday, July 19, 2009

Trashbin Alley Rock is better than average glam-inspired punk

Artist: The Greatest Hits
Title: For A Good Time, Call...
Label: Desert Island Discs
Release date: 2008

With their first release, The Greatest Hits were setting themselves apart from the many comparable bands you can find on the West Coast, save the absolute best like The Cute Lepers.

The first line of the album is lifted from Buddy Holly, but after that a fresh nod to some old influences is on display, as this is more than just another rock album with a provocative cover.

"Drowning Faith Sorrow" is the best example of what all this band does right, as this celebration of bromance rages on for six minutes but still stays fresh with backup vocals and an organist layered under Nils Forever's vocals. The band outdoes themselves on this one with lines like, "Nailed to the cross section of a broken life," which is a definite step ahead of typical glammerpop lyrics.

Other strongpoints include old-style rocker "Shakes and Licks," soft side showing "Crying Poem," mandatory early punk nod "Terminal Sleaze," anthem for the kids "If Rock Hadn't Saved Me," and the memorable guitar work on "So Untrue."

What sets this band apart? Well, they had solid guitar playing on this release, and it predates Leif Pacemaker joining the band. Also, Nils Forever actually sounds like a man and does not go overboard with "owwwww"s and other cliched frontman catcalls.

These guys are worth checking out this Friday at The Star Bar with Canadian glam-punks Pretty Vanilla.

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