Album: The Star Spangles

Bazooka!!! Parlophone
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The Independent Culture

If the totally crazeee title of The Star Spangles' debut album doesn't set you on edge, the raspy yell of the band's singer, mop-topped Ian Wilson, will surely have you reaching for the painkillers. Add to this the band's penchant for ill-fitting suits, sneers and polka-dot shirts, and they are easily the most punchable band to emerge from New York since The Strokes. The umpteenth Next Big Thing from the Big Apple, this pantomime four-piece pitch themselves somewhere between The Replacements and The Heartbreakers, although they lack the sozzled wit and panache of either. Song titles such as "I Live for Speed" "The Party" and the unwieldy "Which of the Two of Us Is Gonna Burn This House Down?" suggest a band desperately trying to live up to the hell-raising ideals of rock without getting their suits dirty. Indeed, Bazooka!!! is just one rock'n'roll cliché after another - "Angela" is a seedy love-letter to a groupie, while "LA" subscribes wholesale to the myth of Tinseltown. The Star Spangles' limited reference points are matched only by their ineffectual songwriting. The album is pretty much split right down the middle between empty-headed tales of rock'n'roll debauchery and brattish odes to spurned love. It's no wonder that they can't pull a decent girl if this is the best they can come up with.