New Town Animals

Is Your Radio Active?

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The New Town Animals are five snotty, Canadian punk rockers that play catchy, poppy punk anthems in the vein of the Dead Boys, the Queers, and the Bouncing Souls. The opening track of Is Your Radio Active?, "Rock 'n' Roll Scene," jumps with a '50s verve, like a bunch of punk kids playing a sock hop. There are plenty of classic pogo tunes on this album ("Lose That Girl," "Excuse Me Suzy!"), Sex Pistols-inspired vocals ("Acme Rebel"), and even a spacey cover of the Stripes' "Observer." "Gonna Run," a tribute to being a teenager and messin' stuff up, is the band's most powerful song with its Buzzcocks vibe and catchy chorus: "We're gonna run for our lives." The New Town Animals actually slow the tempo for the album's sugary love song, "Sitting Alone With You," which helps keep the record from falling into the monotone trap that consumes so many punk bands. The New Town Animals may not have the genre-breaking innovation of a band like Idlewild, but they know their sources and do what they do well.

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