Rikk Agnew

Turtle

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Only Rikk Agnew's third solo album in just over a decade, 1992's Turtle steps back from the unfortunate poodle-metal trimmings of 1990's Emotional Vomit -- by this point, Nirvana had returned poofy hair and eyeliner back to the depths of uncoolness -- into a more traditional set of hardcore-based, but not stylistically hidebound songs. These range from the mile-a-minute wallop of the deceptively catchy "Allright!" to the tongue-in-cheek piano-based pub singalong "The Grass Is Always Greener on the Other Side," and a surprising but incredibly effective punked-up version of the Kinks' too-polite 1981 single "Give the People What They Want." Not everything works -- the fortunately brief "Criddlin' the Weld" sounds like Agnew's playing a chorus over and over again in the hopes that a verse will eventually come to him -- but the best tracks deliver on the promise of Agnew's 1982 solo debut, All by Myself, and his later work with the reformed Adolescents.

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