Royal to the Bone

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For a band whose name translates, roughly, to "meadow wildflowers," Heideroosjes are an impressively snotty pop-punk band. Clearly, irony is not dead in their native Holland: one of Royal to the Bone's highlights is the cuttingly sarcastic mock-martial singalong "We're All Fucked Up," and the shouty chorus of "I'm Not Deaf, I'm Just Ignoring You" has the two-fingers sass of the Damned or early Green Day. Singer Marco Roelofs has the same sort of quasi-British accent as Billie Joe Armstrong and any number of other American and European pop-punk singers, but he's an otherwise unmannered vocalist with a fistful of one-liners that at times recall the early kings of punk rock snark, the Dictators. Similarly, guitarist and songwriter Frank Kleuskens works entirely within the accepted pop-punk parameters, but there's a giddy sort of freshness not only to his tunes and riffs, but with the enthusiasm with which he and bassist Fred Houben and drummer Igor Hobus attack the two-minute, three-chord songs. Strictly for fans of the style, then, but those fans will love it.

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