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Drivin' N Cryin': Songs About Cars, Space and the Ramones

New Records

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The reconfigured musical landscape really serves diverse acts like Drivin' N Cryin' quite well. The group takes advantage of this by releasing four EPs over a year, each one cordoning off a different stretch of influences. The Songs from the Laundromat EP explored Southern pop and rock. Songs About ... channels punk verve with a Ramones tribute, titled "Johnny Rides Shotgun," and a batch of songs that are much sharper than the last, as if frontman Kevn Kinney is warming to the task. "Hot Wheels" is a catchy, new wave opener, "Moonshot" apes the '70s Bowery punk sneer of Richard Hell and the Dead Boys, and "Acceleration" hints at a punkabilly Modern Lovers sound. The style would get old if this were a full album, but for 15 rocking minutes it's all aces. (4 out of 5 stars)

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