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Non-Prog CD Reviews

The Varmints

Boston Cream

Review by Gary Hill

The Varmints are a punk rock band with a lot of mainstream rock built into their sound. They hail from Boston and at times sound like pure rock, along the lines of AC/DC. At other points, though, one might hear The Dead Boys, The Sex Pistols or the Ramones. Whatever you call it, and whatever influences you hear, though, this stuff rocks.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Boston Cream

There’s a straight ahead hard rock sound here with vocals that are more like punk rock. This is a smoking hot tune. It’s a great way to start the set in style.

Baby's Off Her Rocker
More pure punk rock than the opener, this one’s also quite cool. It’s kind of like a cross between the Sex Pistols and The Dead Boys with some Ramones thrown in for good measure.
No Promise
The guitar sound here is more like The Dead Boys than anything we’ve heard to this point. This is some smoking hot punk rock.
Countdown
Here’s another smoking hot punk rocker. It’s got a lot of snarl and a lot of cool and just plain rocks. I suppose the Ramones are the most obvious reference.
Talk Talk
This one’s mid-tempo and perhaps more like The Sex Pistols than anything else, but it’s more pure rock and roll than that might indicate.
Little Leanne
The opening on this calls to mind AC/DC, but it works out to a more pure punk rock meets old school rock and roll sound. It’s another strong cut on a disc that’s full of them. There are hints of Elvis Costello at times here.
One Square One
This is a mellower tune, but only in comparison to the rest of the music here. Elvis Costello is a reference on this one, but it’s got more of a straightahead rock and roll approach.
Rosalita
Here’s another round of punk rock meets roots rock and roll. It’s a good tune, but a short one. It’s a good tune, and a good way to end the album.
 
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