November 15, 2007

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Rude Toys, Feel No Guilt
Self-released, Oct. 27
Second full-length from one of the few Manchester, N.H.,-based rawk acts to survive CBGBs. If these guys aren’t into Grand Funk, I’m Granny Clampett, because “Discount Lovers” is “I’m Your Captain” in a fake beard. Much of the album is reminiscent of ’80s Top 40, like Grand Funk hooks up with Gloria Estefan at the Bad Company tribute band gig.

There are a couple of curveballs. In “Harm,” lead singer Tammy Schatz proves that Madonna isn’t the only person around with Madonna’s voice; it sounds like a Madge ballad remixed by the London Philharmonic. Lugging around a 5/8 time signature, “Pentad” is an instrumental that brings to mind Mars Volta playing at the King Tut exhibit.

There’s also raw talent within the group, but these cats need to experience some rock n roll terror — their van catches fire outside of Memphis, say, with no ATM or cell service for 30 miles. Wait, wait, I’ve got it: if Schatz started smoking cartons of Kools with the crazy toothless drunken hobos who worship at her lotus hooker boots in the local clubs, there’d be the possibility of a Detroit Cobras thing, although on the other hand her sound and great looks are more house diva, a trip she could pull off herself with a crash course in Pro Tools (she already handles second-banana guitar for this band). BEric W. Saeger