Too Hot to Be Bothered

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Rocket's Too Hot to Be Bothered is a cute record. Everything about it screams cute. The songs, the singing, the all-songs-about-summer concept, the pink and red cover, the girls in the band -- it's all cute and fun, loads of fun. Rocket are three girls named Lauren singing their schoolgirl hearts out over the punk-pop backing provided by Teenacide head honcho Jim Freek on guitars and keyboards and Dr. Congo on drums. Obvious touchstones are the Ramones, Helen Love, the Shangri-Las, the criminally unknown Pussywillows, and the Pooh Sticks. The songs come from sources like Redd Kross ("Annette's Got the Hits"), Blondie ("In the Sun"), the Undertones ("Here Comes the Summer"), Helen Love ("Summer Pop Radio"), and the Bay City Rollers ("Summer Love Sensation"). If you can make it through ten seconds of the opening cut, the perky "On the Beach" by '80s obscurities da Biz, without breaking into a goofy grin, then you might as well pack it in -- this isn't for you. On the other hand, if you are grinning, you must be a fan of silly, happy, fun pop music. Rocket aren't going to win prizes for originality, but if you need a pick-me-up of the musical variety you could do much, much worse.

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