Cleveland band the Styrenes is indeed legendary, but usually criminally overlooked. They've been around in one form or another since 1974, playing alongside the likes of Devo, Pere Ubu, and the Dead Boys. Their latest, We Care, So You Don't Have To, is the band's first release since A Monster and the Devil ten years ago, and they sound just as rough and raw as ever. The unmistakable vocals of Mike Hudson are kind of a cross between Stiv Bators (Dead Boys) and Lemmy Kilmister (Motorhead), constantly dripping with attitude. The boys will treat you to a twisted lounge version of the Velvet Underground classic "Venus In Furs," and the tragic and disturbing story of "Westies," and the classic-sounding '70s punk rocker "Silver Daggers." The Styrenes introduce extensive use of one of the most un-punk instruments of all time, the piano, on almost every song on the album. But as stated earlier, the band seems to have gotten even nastier in their old age, easily matching the intensity of their earlier performances from the '70s (you can compare by hearing the excellent Scat compilation Those Were Different Times, where the Styrenes and two other Ohio bands are featured).
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Greg Prato