Dance Hall Crashers

Purr

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Moving from the majors (MCA) back to the indies (Pink & Black, one of Fat Wreck Chords' imprints), Dance Hall Crashers unleashed their heaviest hitting album to date. Label head and NOFX frontman, Fat Mike himself, produced, gracing the album with a grand sound, almost arena-like in its intensity, and for the first time capturing the power and fury of the band's stage shows, driven home by Tim Palmer's excellent mix. The album kicks off with the storming "Beverly Kills," its rumbling drums, and ferocious guitar licks the perfect backdrop for the girls' tale of a malicious, soul-sucking girl, who's a dead ringer for the City of Angels itself. As always, the witty, biting lyrics equal the band's intensity, and never more so than on "The Real You," a slap-down on a deserving suck-up, that storms right out of the grooves. A particularly selfish boyfriend is soundly spanked on the surprisingly grungy "Remember to Breathe," while the '60s-styled pop/rock will not just "Make Her Purr," but you as well. The gloriously poppy skanker "Setting Sun" will keep the egotistical anti-hero smiling, even as he's soundly skewered by the singers. Elsewhere Elyse Rogers and Karina Denike turn a "Cat Fight" to their own advantage, and the boys' dismay, for even these sarcastic girls have a heart, and the duo bare theirs' for all to see on the gorgeous, acoustic "Cricket." Everything fans love about DHC -- the sharply pointed lyrics, killer hooks, dizzying rock and pop in equal doses, all in skanking form are captured at their rip-roaring best, and for once not on-stage, but in the studio.

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