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Askew Review 15

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(Teenage Heart Records) Imagine if you will finding yourself back in the mid to late 1950s and going to see Ritchie, Potsie, and Ralph Malph at Al’s. However, our favorite Happy Days gang lies bludgeoned (CSI technicians later determined the bludgeoning instrument as a kazoo) in the parking lot while a freewheeling band smashes the sounds of Eddie Cochran, Bobby “Boris” Pickett, and early Misfits from the stage. “Randy the Rock and Roll Pizza Wolf” is a catchy tune with heavy 50’s teenage hop. Just as soc-hoppie, “Death from Above,” “How’s It Feel to be Wrong,” and “Born to be Alone” has a bit more feeling to help hook up with your best girl or guy (“Maybe he’ll give me his letter jacket,” she’ll say. “We’re going to the point to neck,” he’ll say). Unable to put my eardrum on “The Grandma Song,” I will simply write how it somehow reminds me of riot songs sung by English soccer thugs before bringing the pain in a 100,000 capacity stadium. Now, “Rome” takes an 180 degree turn with an almost Goth (sans the kazooing by singer Drew Kazoo) sound and concluding drum and bass line reminiscent of the opening for the Dead Kennedys’ “Saturday Night Holocaust.” Though I paint The Sprained Ankles’ music as 50’s soc-hop, it does carry more of an edge and craziness that’ll fit right in with today’s speakers, bars, and halls. The sounds and songs are refreshingly new and original. After all, how many bands have successfully incorporated a kazoo into their music? – Denis Sheehan

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