The Night Marchers

Allez! Allez!

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The Night Marchers' second album appeared on the shelves five years after their debut album, 2008's See You in Magic, arrived to thrill fans of John "Speedo" Reis. His long career as a kickass rock & roller is well documented (Rocket from the Crypt, Hot Snakes, the Sultans), and the Night Marchers' debut did nothing to detract from his output. In fact, See You in Magic was a high point, as it was filled with typically fierce guitar-driven garage punk but also exhibited a degree of songcraft that was impressive even for Speedo. Despite the gap between releases, 2013's Allez Allez sounds like it could have been recorded at the same sessions. It has all the fire and fury of the debut, the same live-wire dual-guitar attack, and a similarly top-notch batch of songs that deliver plenty of rock-hard punch ("Loud, Dumb and Mean," "I Wear the Horns") and are loaded with a nicely strutting power that has as much swing as it does thud ("2 Guitars Sing," the should-be hit single "All Hits"), but also a few that show just the smallest bit of restraint (the slow-burning "Roll On") and Spoon-like attention to sonic detail ("Pain"). In other words, it's a heck of a lot like the last album and that, my rock & roll friends, is a very good thing. The few little touches the band adds, like adding some harmonica and bringing in some very RFTC-sounding horns, do nothing at all to hurt. They even help to open up the sound a little, not that it really needed much space or sweetening when it hits as hard as it does from beginning to end. Basically, seeing Speedo's name on an album sleeve is a trademark of quality, and anyone who is hip to that fact will find Allez Allez to be one more triumph in a long run of rock & roll glory.

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