Halo Friendlies

Get Real

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Immaculately produced by Kim Shattuck of the Muffs, Get Real is a tidy, enjoyable blast of punk-pop which captures the fervor of a live performance despite its studio polish. Akin to the Bangles, Joan Jett, and Juliana Hatfield, this muscular, guitar-driven female quartet purveys Brill Building pop-derived hooks, infectious harmonies, and simple motifs rendered with verve, spunk, and a feel-good/devil-may-care attitude. Each track is an anthem unto itself, depicting boy meets girl, girl meets boy, girl wants boy, boy can't have girl, and so on without sounding repetitive or contrived. "Over You," "I'm All Eyes," and "Milwaukee" are among the choicest cuts, played fast and furious. "Unsaid Goodbyes," the obligatory teenage broken-heart ballad, is curiously chosen to end the disc. Had this collection come out during the new wave explosion of the early '80s, Halo Friendlies certainly would have filled arenas aplenty and spun endlessly on MTV and modern rock radio. However, in the year 2002 Get Real is more of a nostalgia trip -- but one worth taking.

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