Royal Grand Prix

High Performance

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    5
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AllMusic Review by

If Frank Zappa and the Beastie Boys had somehow been constrained by the musical ambitions and abilities of Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, they might have made music that sounds something like Royal Grand Prix. Hailing from Vancouver, the "brothers" Romoli (vocalist Rocky, guitarist Robbie, bassist Rosie, and drummer Mac) dropped High Performance -- their debut collection of smart-ass punk rock -- in 1998 for Wrong Records. Upbeat and simple (both conceptually and musically) High Performance fails to get any big laughs, but Royal Grand Prix does exude a colorful (if somewhat forced) personality on the record that, while dopey, has some charm as well. Double entendre on tracks like "Full Service" abound, and while it's all delivered with unbridled enthusiasm, the tired material prevents Royal Grand Prix from firing on all cylinders. Choice cuts like "She Says" and "Do or Die" have a nice punk energy, and a few clever lines delivered with enough raw power to make any stripped-down hard-edged rock & roll throwback jealous. Listeners who crave muscle-car referenced, filling station goof rock with a punk edge might enjoy High Performance. As for everyone else, well, let's just say they might find that Royal Grand Prix simply lacks octane.

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