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Scratch, El Monstro (Trev Records)




Pretenders, Alone (BMG Records)

With all the internet shamings like Taylor Swift’s shooting a video in Africa that only had white people in it, you may have missed the one where Pretenders leader Chrissie Hynde got nailed by NPR for a none-too-PC remark. We shan’t go there — it’s always been impossible to grok Chrissie’s motivation, and meanwhile here, in her first Pretenders-proper LP in eight years, she’s still hiding her cards both emotionally and musically. In the T Bone Burnett-checking skuzz-blues opener “Alone Song,” is she kidding that she wants to sit home by herself and watch a movie, or is she actually joyful about it? Whatever, she’s still the goddess of post-punk, stating her case with a sound so analog it makes Jack White look like Michael Bolton (the lead-in to the aforementioned track sounds like it was recorded on a boombox), and throughout this record she cements her brand, that oddly comforting, shuffling bar-rock that hasn’t been heard since “Break Up the Concrete,” this time cut with such vibes as bossa nova (“One More Day”) or Siouxsie (“Let’s Get Lost”) or Raveonettes (“I Hate Myself”). It’s breathtaking how much she rules. A+ — Eric W. Saeger




Scratch, El Monstro (Trev Records)
CD reviews October 20, 2016

10/20/16
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



Scratch, El Monstro (Trev Records)

In Whatever Happened To Such-and-So Local Band news, we catch up with Boston punk legends Gang Green, or at least their peak mid-80s incarnation, the one that gave us “Alcohol” and “Skate to Hell,” or, more specifically, the lot that featured the then-teenage brothers Glen and Chuck Stilphen, who lead this project. This is basically a long-overdue one-off EP, featuring two long-lost songs that are 21 years old and two new ones, all, it appears, recorded at Boston’s Fort Apache studio, which should clang all sorts of bells for you if you were ever on the musician side of the scene. If you’re expecting dated party-anthem-oi, you’re out of luck; it’s dated ’90s grunge-ish material, at least going by focus single “Das Waltz,” which even has an old video in the books, starring these guys when they looked good with their shirts off. That tune is reminiscent of Limp Bizkit, but more accurately Live, if you’re old enough to have any idea who that is. But wait a minute, the title track and “Wayside” are rattle-bang crash-the-party skate-punk, and “Spaz” wants to be Gravity Kills. Scattershot but decent throughout. B-





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