Jonathan Fire*Eater

The Public Hanging of a Movie Star

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Listening to the band's debut single raises an obvious question: exactly why did these guys get nowhere (for all the attendant hype) when, six years later, the Strokes essentially did the same thing (only with arguably far less joy)? Such are the mysteries of life and fate, but there it is: Jonathan Fire Eater made its initial splash, ripped off the Stones, and had great fun while doing it. The rumbling drumstomp and heavy garage distorto-guitar on the title track make said song, and quite why the quintet wasn't on Bomp Records at some point is another point to ponder. "The Cakewalk of Crime" brings out more of the organ messiness that helped the band make its name, while "When Prince Was a Kid" doesn't quite live up to its title, but still has fun. Through it all, Lupton sneers with the best of them, or at least does his very best.

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