The Mexican Blackbirds

Just to Spite You

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The Mexican Blackbirds' debut album is a brief (11 songs in 24 minutes), bracing blast of blue-collar punk in the tradition of the early Replacements and pre-Henry Rollins Black Flag. Singer Chris Trashcan bellows and roars with the best of them, as his three bandmates (including ex-Valentine Killers drummer Jill Trueblood) bash out a simple brand of three-chord punk behind him. What makes the Mexican Blackbirds different from any number of similar bands is that their lyrics are neither cretinously dumb, nor naïvely political, nor excessively nihilistic, but simply straightforward expressions of pissed-off post-adolescence. From the title on down to songs like the call-and-response headbanger "Can't Win 'Em All" and the blistering "Ain't Got a Clue" (not the song by U.K. '70s punks the Lurkers, but nearly as good), the Mexican Blackbirds leaven their songs with just enough hooks and humor to keep from sounding completely monochromatic.

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