Top of the Rocks

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When the Superbees take the stage, fans know exactly what they're going to get: balls-to-the-wall rock & roll in the style of the Stooges, MC5, Thin Lizzy, and early Aerosmith. The Bees are all about energy, both on-stage and in the studio, and this EP has enough power to light up a large city for a week. The tunes, with the exception of Aerosmith's "S.O.S. (Too Bad)," were penned by lead guitarist Dave James, who makes up with energy what he may be lacking in creativity. "Silver Jet" opens with a blast of Stooges-like energy. James turns in a distorted solo and snotty vocal, intensifying the song's aggressive attack. James pleads with an ex on "Bad News," trying to win her back with a bit of New York Dolls-style panache, but to no avail, despite another impressive guitar freakout. "Greyhound Tooth" is a bluesy rocker with a good guitar hook and "Sin & Glitter" returns to Stooges territory. The best original is "The Lonely Kind," a slinky lament that builds neatly to a rousing chorus and brings to mind the early work of Arthur Lee and Love. "S.O.S. (Too Bad)" shows the dangers of depending too much on yesterday's influences -- it's not a well-known Aerosmith tune, but it's tighter and more focused than most of the originals here.

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