The Young Werewolves

Cheat the Devil

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Sharp suits, visible tattoos, and well-coiffed hair remain in evidence all over the Young Werewolves' second album, but Cheat the Devil largely erases the psychobilly influences of 2004's self-titled debut. Instead, Cheat the Devil is a brisk but somewhat anonymous set of old-school pop-punk tunes closer in spirit to the likes of Social Distortion or the Descendents than the Cramps. Vocals are split between guitarist Nick Falcon and bassist Shewolf Dana Kain, whose gruff voice sounds as if she's had a pack a day habit since she was 11. B-movie mainstay Sid Haig drops in to provide a Vincent Price-like narrative introduction to "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" (that's also Sid starring on the front cover as the titular devil), and the surf/hot rod pastiche "Gala Monster Rally" has the goofy charm of an Ed "Big Daddy" Roth drawing, but otherwise, the usual pop-punk and garage rock mainstays are the main topics of interest: bad girls ("Satan's Daughter"), bad boys ("Guns, Guns, Guns"), and bad times ("Mischief Night"), all delivered with just enough raffish charm to make them all sound like a lot of fun. However, points off for the bonus track "Hungry Like a Werewolf," a dull and slightly condescending cover of Duran Duran's paragon of MTV-era cheese.

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