What's in a Name

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Dutch pop-punks Bambix make their U.S. debut courtesy of Amy Ray's indie imprint, but don't expect the Low Countries' equivalent to the Indigo Girls. Singer/guitarist Willia (Wick Bambix), bassist Patrick Turner and drummer Peter Dragt are musically of the naïve U.K. school of bands like Boyracer or Helen Love, where the rules were laid down by the Ramones in the '70s and the Pastels in the '80s and variation on the speedy three-chord basics is looked down upon. (The vaguely folkish spin on "Loch Ness" is as close as they get to a change-up.) A 13-song précis of Bambix's four previous European albums, What's in a Name shows both the strengths and the limitations of the group's deliberately restricted style. (Even the song titles are deliberately circumscribed: with the exception of "Loch Ness" and "Silly So Sorry," all the songs are named after seemingly random people.) Individually, the songs are perfectly entertaining ramalama bubble-punk, but over the course of the album, the songs fade into each other with such numbing regularity that the album becomes unfortunately tiresome.

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