The Rezillos

Can't Stand the Rezillos

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Part of the beauty of punk rock was the idea that rather than just standing back in wonder at the spectacle of your favorite band, you could get up on stage and do what they did yourself. The only problem was that while it didn't seem all that hard to do what the Ramones were doing, hardly anyone was capable of doing it quite as well. Glasgow's the Rezillos, however, were that rare band who beat the odds, becoming quite simply the finest fake Ramones the world has ever known. Hyperactive tempos, raging guitar, abbreviated pop melodies, goofy and slightly off-kilter lyrics that display a fascination with junk culture and '60s pop -- it's all there on Can't Stand the Rezillos, the band's only studio album, and they were able to work the formula every bit as well as the Ramones did on Rocket to Russia. Of course, it helps that the Rezillos were able to put their own spin on the template; they were a bit poppier, willing to get a few notches sillier, and sounded just a touch smarter (it figures a bunch of former art students would come up with a tune like "[My Baby Does] Good Sculptures"). But the real key to this album is its simple, good-hearted joie de vivre; funny-punk was rarely executed with the degree of skill, finesse, and pure delirious glee as the Rezillos summoned up on Can't Stand the Rezillos. It makes me smile more than any U.K. punk album ever made me, and it has the greatest Dave Clark Five cover ever committed to tape -- what greater recommendation could you ask for? A triumph.

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