How now, sweet creatures of bombast? The Mooney Suzuki have jumped from the city garage-band dray for Alive & Amplified. The guitars are set to amphitheater wham, the spastic fuzz delivered only as occasional spice. Ready Freddy, it’s the second coming of Jo Jo Gunne, only with heavy soul and lyrics on screwing and playing guitar instead of being someone’s old shoe.
Good for them. It’s a bad business catering to microfads, making hard rock for people who hate hard rock—the types you see decorating the pages of Sunday style sections. Back in 1974, you cajoled Bill Szymczyk into your corner for artistic direction; now it’s the Matrix, and the effect is remarkable: Mooney Suzuki’s half-baked Radio Birdman is rehabilitated into sunbaked stadium rock and super radio sound.
On the first four songs, a manly man commands the women to get down to boogie, and if they haven’t by “New York Girls,” nothing will make them. “Loose ‘n’ Juicy” even seems to have recruited the Ikettes or the Blackberries. Now all that’s needed is a miracle: Get “Shake That Bush Again” played as much as Gunne’s “Run, Run, Run,” and they’ll be good for a few more years.