Henry's Dress

Bust 'em Green

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If you could bottle ebullience, it would sound like Bust 'Em Green. At 12 tunes in 25 minutes, the debut full-length from Henry's Dress passes by in about the same time it would take for a collection of advertising jingles, and the songs are, indeed, as incessantly catchy as that description implies. In fact, they are like jolts of adrenaline, driving surf-punk-go-go-pop cherry bombs splashed with a bit of slashing mod-art flavor and full of bouncy ba-ba-ba's and whoa-oh's that are at least partly grounded in Phil Spector's girl group pop and '60s garage rock, beefed up by syringes-full of energy and attitude. These sound like the simplest possible songs anyone could write, but if that were the case, more bands would write them. And more bands should. At least half the songs are stupidly, naively brilliant, and "Get Yourself Together" turns the riff from Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues" inside out until it's a snarling admonition. The '60s, though, are only a starting point for the band, and the splendidly idiot-savant rock of the Ramones is perhaps its primary sonic influence. Henry's Dress pummel through the fast songs with careless aggression that accentuates even more the crazy-wonderful pop hooks that characterize every song, and the band works the nexus between their not-so-disparate-as-one-might-think influences throughout the album. When each song is happening, the differences between the styles is entirely obliterated into a single, bulldogging nirvana, a car crash of pop. Amy Linton and Matt Hartman alternate songwriting chores while Hayyim Sanchez plays a bulging bass sound that adds juice to each song and may be the glue for the entire album, and the music seems so impromptu that the trio sound like old friends messing around in the basement until their favorite TV show or cartoon comes on. Linton takes most of the vocals, and it gives the whole undertaking a bit of a cartoon-rock feel, like Josey & the Pussycats come to life. The music is pedal-to-the-floor, furious, bright, bold, propulsive, a caffeinated high, and the songs never overstay their welcome. Henry's Dress know exactly who and what they are, and they play the role to perfection.

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