Erstwhile Rock N Roll Critic and an original American Punk and goes for corvine profile with a youthful fierceness.
“We live to annoy,” barks Jeff Dahl on one of the songs here, and indeed, irritating others has been an integral part of the singer’s modus operandi for a long time. Starting up his career 23 years before the turn of the century, the veteran refuses to stop 23 years after this millennium has seemed to set fresh rules for rebellion against the system. And why should he cease to exasperate the establishment if such pieces as this album’s titular opener and its deceptively gloomy finale “Saint Lucifer” are so infectious? Framing the ten cuts delivered in less than 25 minutes, a perfect length for a punk missive, they create a sizzling context for “All My Friends Are Crows” to sound gloriously grimy, befitting a platter with ingrained DIY ethic as the warbler plays everything but drums on it.
There’s a mighty groove that’s impossible to ignore, running through this record and giving momentum to Dahl’s squealing guitar and rumbling bass that support his melodious yelps and propel his invigorating yells to delirious, sweat-drenched delight on the punchy likes of “Bat Shit Crazy” and “We Must Destroy” – while less frantic “Let It Drool” and “Atomic Ant Invasion” provide a dynamic respite to the proceedings. Elsewhere, the sonic assault is dense, the slider-oiled “A Little Bird Said” and “The Spider Sisters” building an angst-bolstered wall of hard-boiled rock ‘n’ roll, yet the acoustically tinctured undercurrent and pop background make “Manahampeetah” an outstanding offering too – although not as grand as the anthemic “Wild, Beautiful And Free” which shows Jeff as a flagbearer of his generation.
Long may he vent his scarred sarcasm!