With co-production help from Brian Anderson and a great mix by Bryce Goggin, Poster Children perfected their synthesis of huge stomp, fun, and funny spirit on Junior Citizen, their best record and easily 1995's most underrated rock release from the States. Making records just the way they wanted to but not getting the attention -- sales or otherwise -- they should have is a crime, but such are the ways of the business; what matters is that the music still sounds as great as when it was recorded. Rick Valentin's vocals are sounding all the more varied and as interesting as ever, from the distorted lead on "Get a Life" to the warm work on "He's My Star" and the lovely yet powerful album-closer "One of Us." "He's My Star" itself is probably one of the best songs of its kind -- it's a partially acoustic and downright heartfelt homage to an idol, but of all people it's Baywatch's David Hasselhoff (and hey, why not?). The awesome epic rock arrangements are far from gone; check out the amazing psych-tinged "Drug I Need," which turns into a jaw-dropping, sky-scraping monster; "Downwind"; or the slyly titled "Mustaine." But it's songs like the wonderfully titled "Revolution Year Zero" and "King for a Day" which capture the blend of hyper-amped energy and loud-as-hell mania (drummer Howie Kantoff, in particular, just can't be beat). "New Boyfriend" captures all the competing impulses at their best; Valentin's lyrical complaint about the titular character is just as fine as the cutting music behind it. But if there's an absolute standout, it's the title track, starting off with a drum-machine beat and shifting into a frenetic singalong with a clipped, catchy melody and an absolutely killer chorus. The lyrics are pretty sweet as well, a little bit of fun about the anime equivalents of the band looking for new recruits in "the war with the empire of the bored."
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AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett