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The Bones | Straight Flush Ghetto | review | rock | Lollipop

The Bones

Straight Flush Ghetto (Liquor and Poker)
by Brian Varney

Never heard of these guys before, but the press makes it sound like they've been around awhile, which makes sense as they remind me of all those Swedish records that seemed to suddenly pop up in wake of the initial late-'90s Hellacopters break. I'm talking the Backyard Babies, Gluecifer, Turpentines, etc. I remember liking most of that stuff when it showed up, which is probably why Straight Flush Ghetto sounds so familiar.

Of all the bands I've mentioned, The Bones remind me the most of the Backyard Babies, but that's probably just because the singer here learned to sing at the same school of Mike Ness worship as Nicke Borg (the Backyard Babies lead singer). However, there are some musical similarities to Total 13-era Backyard Babies as well, where they achieved a near-perfect balance of rock throttle and pop songcraft, the result being songs that are insanely catchy, while also retaining enough rock 'n' roll velocity to satisfy the folks with pompadours and Bettie Page t-shirts. The Bones don't hit the high mark quite as consistently, but when they do, on songs like "Do You Wanna," "Until I Die," and the deliriously memorable "Not a Lovesong," it'll be enough to make you wanna party like it's the late '90s again. There are points where the band veers toward more traditional punk or even rockabilly sounds, but these are among the record's less interesting moments. At its best, Straight Flush Ghetto is a fine punkpop record with none of the dirty implications that phrase has come to carry. It's simply a punk record with strong songs and deep hooks, and if you can find fault with that, you're a pickier man than I.

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