The Forty-Fives

High Life High Volume (Yep Roc)

Don't expect a whole lot of subtlety from the Forty-Fives. After all, this is a band that references its mindset in its name and lays out its intentions in the title of its latest album. The Stones, the Kinks, the Yardbirds, and the Pretty Things are among those referenced here -- faithfully, unflinchingly, and without apology. The music is mostly brash, irreverent punk anthems, edgy little rockers with repetitive riffs and a single-minded sensibility. The adrenaline and energy that propel such songs as "Go Ahead and Shout," "Bad Reputation," and "Superpill" keep the proceedings as simple and straightforward as the titles imply.

Basically the Forty-Fives are a one-note novelty. In fact their garage band/retro R&B sound leaves little room for elaboration. Other than the instrumental interplay accompanying "Backstage at Juanita's," the ragged rockabilly treatment of "Bicycle Thief," and the frayed R&B balladry of "Too Many Miles," there's little or no variation to speak of.

Skeptics might argue the listener would be better served listening to the original practitioners. As their cover of the Who classic "Daddy Rolling Stone" attests, the Forty-Fives often spin in circles aimlessly. -- Lee Zimmerman

 
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