The Nifters

Riding Shotgun

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Leave it to the Swedish to make more convincing Aussie/American punk rock than the majority of U.S. bands. This Skärblacka quartet, whose members sing in perfect English, is the second, or third, or fourth coming of the sound of the Stooges and MC5 sped up -- i.e., Radio Birdman's gift to the continent with the koala bears south of here and over in the Pacific. With hints of Celibate Rifles, New Christs, the faster Social Distortion, the early Les Thugs, Zero Boys, Bad Religion, Adolescents, and Youth Brigade, and a decided flirtation with '70s hard rock/metal (that's where the '60s Detroit rock comes in), one Nifters song after another hits the runway and zooms off into the wild blue yonder. Slam, bang, it's the "woahhhhhhh" backing vocal (the title track) that Naked Raygun borrowed from the Misfits, and next thing you know, it sounds like MC5's Wayne Kramer or the Stooges' Ron Asheton himself is doing the punishing lead on "Something Goin' On." Then the band's off on another trip to another foreign riff like "The Rocket Song," which makes your heart race and your ears ring. As they say in England, "bloody good!" Holy smokes, Batman!

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