Libertine

See You in the Next Life

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These guys rock, a mix of basic rock & roll, mod, and punk, with a little glam thrown in, that's all about traditional balls-out energy, running guitar leads, and floor-tom pounding breaks. (There's even hand claps and "C'mon, c'mon, c'mon" passages in "Next Life.") When I say "punk," I mean the better, pre-hardcore variety, with first album-Generation X-ish clipped downstrokes and Johnny Thunders-like leads of Jamie Coville's guitar, chops from heavy drummer Stephen Maicior, and Belvy K's growling just out of pitch (and we don't care) vocals that recall a young Mike Ness of Social Distortion. And not only do they borrow Iggy Pop's 1969 Stooges "I Wanna Be Your Dog" riff for a verse that sounds like 1981 "Magnificent 7" Clash on "No, Your Enemy," but when they close the LP with "The Sound of the Saints," you just know (it's foreshadowed in the rip-roaring opening of "Volunteer" and "Outside" and the titular reference to "No, Your Product") that they love the first two Saints LPs like everyone should. That the riffs are up to comparison with the young Ed Kuepper, Derwood Andrews, Ness, Thunders, and Joe Strummer is good. That they're having so much fun is better. (P.O. Box 210501, S.F., CA 94121; johnjoh@substandard.com)

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