The Soda Pop Kids

Write Home

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One thing that the punk revivalists tend to forget is that the first wave of punk bands, from the Flamin' Groovies to the MC5 to the New York Dolls to the Ramones, were hugely influenced by '50s and pre-psych '60s rock. Treating 1977 as Year Zero produces music that lacks the beating rock & roll heart of a song like Blondie's "In the Flesh" or the Clash's "Brand New Cadillac." The Soda Pop Kids don't fall into this trap: Write Home owes as much to the early Beatles or even Buddy Holly as it does CBGB's. The songs are dead simple, sounding like two-minute pure pop blasts even when the song lengths creep up to over twice that long. Singer Jonny P. Jewels has a classic snot-punk yarl more than a little reminiscent of both David Johansen and Stiv Bators, and dueling guitarists Zachariah Tombstone and Diet D! (big ups for the stage names, by the way) have the whole mid-'70s trash-punk thing down cold, but it's the way that songs like "Electric Blood" and "Memory Lane" (featuring a bassline reminiscent of, of all things, Little Peggy March's "I Will Follow Him") reach back to the glory days of unpretentious rock & roll that makes Write Home such a giddy delight.

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