Monster Trux

Grind

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Monster Trux's debut Grind is so retro that it's downright refreshing: in an age of cookie-cutter mall-punk bands like Sum 41 and blink-182, Monster Trux are pure '80s style skate punk along the lines of the early Gang Green or NOFX, with just a little of the pop culture brattiness of Born Innocent-era Redd Kross thrown in. Silly but not juvenile (the jokes are mostly along the lines of "Pool Shark," a goofy instrumental raveup based on the theme from Jaws) and filled with capable two-minute blasts of ramalama -- the opening "Svengoolie" and the blistering "Bones Brigade" resemble the Queers and early Clash, respectively -- that marry melody and attitude in equal parts, Grind is a solid first effort. Most encouragingly, Monster Trux understand the value of brevity; even with the endlessly extended, metal-tinged closer "Monster Show" appended, the whole album is over in a brisk half-hour.

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