Grab Latest From The Struts, But Steer Clear Of Electric Six, The Prodigy
The Struts — ‘Young & Dangerous’
THE GOOD: British rockers the Struts dodge the sophomore slump on “Young & Dangerous.”
THE BAD: Just be sure to check your brain at the door.
THE NITTY GRITTY: I should HATE this band; its warmed-over retro sounds shallow and highly derivative. “Bulletproof Baby” is a Slade rip-off if ever there was one. “Tatler Magazine” is a jokey take on upbeat Queen. “Who Am I” rides the same disco kick the Stones’ “Miss You” did all those years ago.
But you know what? Sometimes you have to “embrace the stupid.” I mean, Mötley Crüe’s “Too Fast for Love” or Kiss’ “Destroyer” are both juvenile junk, but they CRANK! The same could be said for this new Struts. It’s all big hooks, sharp riffs, pounding backbeats and as much sweaty swagger as frontman Luke Spiller can possibly dish out.
No innovation. No thinking involved. Just turn this sucker way up and go with it. “Young & Dangerous” is one hell of an infectious good time.
BUY IT?: Actually — YES.
Electric Six — ‘Bride of the Devil’
THE GOOD: Goofy Detroit rock group Electric Six returns with its 14th (I was a taken aback by that number too) album.
THE BAD: I must have missed a few releases along the way. No matter. The band’s music is just as disposable and shallow as ever.
THE NITTY GRITTY: Now, you were NEVER meant to take these guys TOO seriously. Early hits “Fire” and “Gay Bar” were indicators of that. Electric Six is all about rockin’ the joint with over-the-top party records — music straight out of the new wave AND metal textbooks, and lyrics with tongues placed firmly in-cheek.
New tracks such as Donald Trump takedown “Daddy’s Boy” and bad-girl anthem “Hades Ladies” keep the grand tradition going. The cover art stealing the original poster design from George Romero’s 1978 zombie epic “Dawn of the Dead” doesn’t hurt either. Know what you’re in for, adjust your expectations, and you might actually have a good time. Over-think matters, and the eye-rolls won’t stop.
BUY IT?: Your choice.
The Prodigy — ‘No Tourists’
THE GOOD: British electronic outfit the Prodigy comes back with its seventh.
THE BAD: If there’s one electronic act established in the ’90s that sounds stuck in that era, it’s the Prodigy. That being bad or good depends on you.
THE NITTY GRITTY: “No Tourists” recalls past beats, grooves and aggressions, especially 1994’s “Music for the Jilted Generation” and the 1997 American breakthrough “Fat of the Land” (remember slamming around to “Smack My Bitch Up”?).
Tracks such as “Light up the Sky” and “Timebomb Zone” hit all the expected notes — the foreboding bass lines, abrasive keyboards, pounding multi-layered beats, sped-up vocals, quirky samples and thin coating of noise spread over the top. Need something that recalls the goofiness of early bangers such as “Charly” or “Wind It Up?” The slightly warped “Boom Boom Tap” has you covered.
One could classify “No Tourists” as a tight chunk of slightly dangerous retro fun. And since 10 tracks fly by in just under 40 minutes, you’re never bored.
BUY IT?: Your call.
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