Thursday, February 09, 2006

Record Review: Kidnappers - Neon Signs

The first Kidnappers LP on Alien Snatch was like a kick to the balls. Like a mid-fi Teengenerate, Ransom Notes and Telephone Calls was about as tuneful and catchy as garage punk comes. Neon Signs is their Rip Off Records debut, and veers from garage punk territory into the realm of power pop.

Influences that were prevailing on their first LP like Teengenerate, Loli and the Chones, Zodiac Killers et al. have been eschewed for reference points like Paul Collins’ Beat, Pointed Sticks, Undertones and the Exploding Hearts. In fact, Goodbye Again liberally appropriates the intro to the Exploding Hearts’ Throwaway Style. I guess it just wouldn’t be a Kidnappers album without accusations of plagiarism.

This isn’t to say Neon Signs is a record that’s easy to pigeon hole. There’s still a garage punk panache about it all. Beat-It’s vocals still sound decidedly muffled and mid-fi. ‘Talk To You’ kicks in with an abrupt ‘yeah!’, the kind I could see Pelle Almqvist high kicking the air to, strobe light flashing in tandem.

For mind, there are no stand out songs like on Ransom Notes and Telephone Calls. There are no Chuck Berry-played-at-78-rpm pop gems like ‘Teenage Fever’, ‘Marky Nimrod’ or ‘Maximum Rock N Roll’.

Three Thumbs Up.

Make Up Your Own Mind:
Street Where I Live
How Long Will I Live

(Please note these aren't direct links to the songs. Open the page in a new window. Download the songs from there. Something about external linking to Lycos or some other shit.)


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