Rough Kids The Black and White and Gray LP
Admittedly, on first listen I thought maybe this was nothing special. With my often jaded snob glasses on, I was probably thinking something corny like “well it’s not that rough, is it?” But this is goddamn good. Melody in punk is a tough gig, but this Los Angeles group has perfectly hit that intersection of late ’70s energy and an ear for tunefulness that is immensely satisfying. Making harmonies sound tough is no easy feat, and most punks can’t pull it off so they don’t even try. I’m hard pressed to think of a stronger display of just down-to-basics songwriting in recent years, and it doesn’t let up track to track. Dig into “She’s All Gray,” which hits like GENTLEMAN JESSE fronting DEAD BOYS, and tell me you’re not hooked. I definitely am.