The Meteors

These Evil Things

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Their silver anniversary release, These Evil Things finds the Meteors settled comfortably into their position as the Ramones of the psychobilly scene. That's the same double-edged sword that the Ramones suffered under for the last several years of their existence: singer/guitarist Paul Fenech and whoever else is in the room at the time are comfortably ensconced in their position as the longest-lasting psychobilly group now that the Cramps have finally disappeared. But These Evil Things, like the Meteors' other recent albums, rarely rises above "pleasant" on the whole listenability scale. The small handful of instrumental tracks ("3 Against 1," the Santo & Johnny-like Southwestern atmospherics of "The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Killer") are probably the best things here, just because Fenech's voice is pretty much shot at this point in his career and he's not doing much better on the lyrics. A song called "Scream You Fucker Scream" should simply be more inspired and nasty than this one turned out to be. The cover of Judas Priest's "Breaking the Law" is a cute idea competently done, but nothing more. It may be time for the Meteors, like the Ramones, to go out with dignity intact.

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