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Askew Review 15

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STRAIGHTJACKET- Modern Thieves (TKO Records) Imagine if Dee Dee Ramone had fronted The Clash instead of taking his rightful place as the bass player of the best band of all-time.  Sure, it probably would’ve been sorta cool, but I doubt either The Clash or The Ramones would’ve gone on to become the truly awesome bands they were if this had been the case.  Straightjacket instantly brings to mind this fictitious pairing.  The music is tight and reminiscent of early Clash, and singer Brian Olson sounds quite a bit like Dee Dee, but the combination just doesn’t completely work for me.  Now friends, I loved Dee Dee, but there was a reason Joey was the lead singer, and that’s because his voice was a helluva lot better than anybody else in The Ramones (and to give him his due, the vast majority of punk bands, both past and present).  And now that I’ve ejaculated the preceding shee-ite, I’m going to climb down from my fuckin’ high horse and admit that I actually do think that Straightjacket is a pretty cool band, despite my panty twist about the vocals.  My favorites on Modern Thieves are “The Call” (moving-yet-tough anthem about sticking with your ideals) and “Blank” (a punchy, fierce number about a poor sap who gets beaten down by life).  These particular songs- and a bunch of others on this release- are pretty fine, and they lead me to believe that Straightjacket would be fun to see live.  And since they’re about to start touring to support this fucker, get your asses out there and decide for yourselves if these mofos are really the shit, and if I’m just being a twat about the vocals. –Ben Hunter



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