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The Valentinos
“Aerosol Dream” b/w “Tell Me That It’s Over”
Tom Perkins Records

Two big holes, 14 inches and more than 10 minutes of rock. We kneel before the single and all its potential ADD-blasting power just as we remind the bands on whom we’ve spent hard-earned dough that they have two minutes, if that, to impress us. Some take the balls and run. Others are content to float the half-asses into the ether. In this week’s installment of Retread Rawk Idol, the Valentinos make the most of their time. Hell, on the A-side, “Aerosol Dream,” nary a chord has rung before a reverb-tanked punk has told us that he “Can’t wait till the summer comes back home/Renew my contract with sweetness.” The Valentinos’ racket is a dense, fat and swinging thing, all Vaseline-smeared guitar chug and insistent, near-swinging rhythm that reminds you the warm jets are still cum-ing. And apropos-of-nothing, yet somehow perfectly, they throw in a goddamned harpsichord solo. It’s a late-August torpor of, if genre-fingering push comes to shove, glam and punk. And the B-side, “Tell Me That It’s Over” hitches its Graham Parker wagon to a Blue Oyster Cult horse and goes for a surprisingly unbumpy ride. The Valentinos manage to speed along just ahead of their influences — even as a British accent creeps into the mix of these Midwestern dudes.


Swinging Neckbreakers/the Shanks
“It’s Not Easy” b/w “Doncha Bother Me”

Norton Records

Garage rock stalwarts the Swingin’ Neckbreakers and Motor City rocking R&B revivalists the Shanks (here sans Nathaniel Mayer) don’t make as much hay while the sun’s shining with their two and a half respective minutes. Each band has chosen a Jagger-Richards composition and neither fares particularly memorably. New Jersey’s Neckbreakers and their frontman Tom Jorgensen (aka “the Postman”) never find the requisite groove or energy despite Jorgensen’s vocal yelps. The Shanks fare a little better, spiking their take on “Doncha Bother Me” with a loose instrumental nervous energy that manages to keep the frantic Nuggets/Back From the Grave spirit kindled — complete with hip-for-1963 (far-too-self-conscious-for-2004) blues patter vocals. There’s better Shanks tracks floating around, but splitting time with the Neckbreakers here doesn’t do them any favors.

Chris Handyside writes about music for Metro Times. E-mail [email protected]
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