Ramones

Subterranean Jungle

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Tentatively returning toward punk, or at least new wave, the Ramones turned in their most enjoyable record since Rocket to Russia with Subterranean Jungle. Producers Ritchie Cordell and Glen Kolotkin were the heads of the edgy power pop and punk label Bomp!, so they steered the Ramones back toward the '60s pop infatuation that provided the foundation for their early records. It's a strategy that pays off well -- for the most part, the group's originals are so punchy and catchy that they make the pair of covers superfluous. Comprised of a set of unabashedly hook-laden songs and driven by more subtle rhythms, Subterranean Jungle may not be a punk record in the strictest sense of the word, yet the Ramones haven't sounded quite as alive in a long, long while.

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