The Young Playthings

Pick Up with the Young Playthings

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Coming just far enough after the great garage rock revival of 2002 to keep the boy-girl quartet from sounding like just another set of bandwagon jumpers, Pick Up with the Young Playthings has most of the key attributes of a neo-garage platter: a cheesy organ, properly distorted guitars, snotty vocals singing disaffected lyrics like "Gimme Everything" and "Elegant Narcotic," right down to a righteous cover of a moderately obscure '60s classic. (In this case, it's Tommy Roe's 1966 gem "Sweet Pea," legendary in some circles for featuring the exact same drum hook that Clyde Stubblefield made sampling history with a few years later in James Brown's "Funky Drummer.") What's missing on Pick Up with the Young Playthings is energy: the Young Playthings sound oddly bored with themselves and their songs throughout this album, with almost all of the ten songs sounding like they were performed just a few BPM too slow, as if the band can't be bothered to properly rock out. It's a shame, because Pick Up with the Young Playthings suggests that there's an entertaining bunch of retro-cool rockers in here somewhere, but listening to the album as a whole turns out to be kind of a drag.

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