Something Fierce: There Are No Answers
Open letter to the Warped Tour: If you don't include Something Fierce on your 2009 80-something band docket, you deserve to have Andy Macdonald or Kyle Loza do one of their extreme-sports stunts right into your figurative nuts. Or whatever. Not every band in its early (early) twenties can find the Buddy Holly heart inside an MC5/Sex Pistols riff machine like "Modern Girl," after all. The 12 songs that make up There Are No Answers — including several holdovers from last year's top-of-the-pops Modern Girl EP — fly by in all of 33 minutes, 48 seconds, performed as they were almost surely composed: with the sole intention of playing as fast and loud as possible. But just as importantly, the trio also plays very much in tune, and the chord changes echo Cheap Trick and Dave Edmunds (especially "Pretty Face") as much as the Buzzcocks or X-Ray Spex. Then SF can just flat rip the joint, like the too-cool-for-school stepchildren (grandchildren?) of the Stones and Ramones on "Where You Goin Man." Bursting with punk energy and pop promise, Answers sounds like Steven "Babyface" Garcia, Nikki Sevven and Andrew Keith are having the time of their lives playing these songs, and it's contagious. Just try not to dance around the room during "Hey Houston" or "On Your Own." Move over, Donnas — ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, meet your newest American (Almost) Teenage Rock and Roll Machine.
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