John McCauley tries to channel the Ramones garage punk ethos for this loose rocking, heavy drinking and sprawling fighter of an album - their fourth in a journey away from alt-country braekthrough rock towards the boozier end of brazen bar-room songwriting.
At his best McCauley's still capable of great lyrics - Clowni' Around which focuses on the torment of "clown killer" John Wayne Gacy is an absolute standout - but too often the band dissolves into belches and hollered wreckage.
Within minutes their mantra that "we're four grown men and we act like kids" has turned into the refrain "let's all go to the bar".
They'd like you to think that there's a touch of The Stones and The Stooges to their rough-round-the-edges sound, but there simply isn't enough power behind the tracks' narratives for them to reach the heights of Mick, Keef or Iggy.
- © Fairfax NZ News