NY Loose

Year of the Rat

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On its one and only major-label release, Year of the Rat, NY Loose delivers powerful performances of a punk-pop musical blend that have nothing whatsoever to do with other '90s platinum purveyors of radio punk. Instead of simply being snide or just plain goofy rock stars like Green Day or the Offspring, NY Loose emits a refreshingly punk attitude of contrariness, if not actual rebellion, on this 1996 release. Founding members Brijitte West (guitars and vocals) and Danny Nordahl (bass) are joined on Year of the Rat by drummer Pete Lloyd and guitarist Marc Diamond. Each member seems versed well enough in the standard instrumental punk vocabulary, but West's saucy delivery and upfront lyrics make NY Loose special. The record opens up with the single "Pretty Suicide" and the ferocious "Rip Me Up," setting a solid pace and revealing West's sex kitten/street punk persona. There are some soft spots in the record's bloated midsection (due mostly to some inappropriately grand production), but listeners will find the closer, "Spit," to be worth the wait. Throughout this or any of the group's releases, West demands attention as she utters her antisocial, self-satisfied mantras, making it impossible not to wonder just how close to the edge she really is. This question helps to generate the magnetic allure of NY Loose. Like any rock star worth his or her weight in leather pants, West's ability to get listeners to wonder about such questions -- not anything to do with power chords and well-timed choruses -- is her real talent.

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