Dryspell

Kitty Porn

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From the beginning, punk had an angrily sociopolitical side (the Sex Pistols, the Clash) as well as a power pop side (the Ramones, the Dickies, the Buzzcocks, Generation X). And when the 21st century arrived, both approaches were continuing to have an impact and make their presence felt in the alternative rock field -- some alternative rockers are influenced by the political punks, while others are more mindful of punk-pop. Dryspell, an alternative rock outfit that was formed in Tempe, AZ, but moved to the San Francisco Bay area, clearly favors the latter approach on its debut album, Kitty Porn. This CD isn't without angst, but ultimately, Dryspell is a fun band that gets a lot of its inspiration from punk-pop and power pop. While Kitty Porn isn't remarkable, most of the material is decent -- one can hear Dryspell's potential on catchy items like "Lucy" (which is arguably the best song on the album), "That's What They All Say," and "Rick James' Kitty Porn." The latter has an intriguing title, although the rather nebulous lyrics leave the listener wondering what the tune really has to do with funkster Rick James. This likable, if uneven, debut has more pluses than minuses, and it indicates that Dryspell is worth keeping an eye on.

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