Being too low for high praise, too brown for fair praise, and too little for great praise, Adam Bomb Brenner and New York Times nevertheless deserve something to mark their arrival—perhaps a pack of onion gum or a hotfoot followed by a night of unlimited free drinks for game persistence. The album’s cover, a takeoff on Sometime in New York City, has pics of people who died, non-sequitur citations of John Lennon, and assorted late-’80s once-hot wash-ups still sonically able to deliver the goods, the latter lashed together for this 1990 session.
As a pretty-boy hair band prospect a decade back, Brenner had the misfortune to be indentured to rock manager David Krebs at a time when the latter fancied himself more a rising newspaperman—namely, publisher of the astonishingly enfeebled National Times. The liaison resulted in a decade blown as hard rock chancer, a life amusingly overannotated on Bomb’s Web site. (With a good editorial scrub, at least as much potential as Jayne County’s “Man Enough to Be a Woman”!)
New York Times is Brenner’s big achievement, certainly more substantial than the National Times, so he gets the last laugh for now. “Doom Glorified” is strutting glam; “Anxiety” prime ’82 Aerosmith-style carpet chew. The rest reduces to hard-pop schlock à la Lap of Luxury Cheap Trick: a better-than-average listen, if the pancreatitis is flaring up.