Overlooked Rock ‘n’ Rollers Honor Both Sides of That Equation


Now that the trendy dust has settled and all those “The” bands either have blown up (White Stripes), have blown out (Vines, Hives), or are getting close to just blowing (Strokes), perhaps authentic hometown street rats the Star Spangles can finally get a fair hearing. With their long-delayed sophomore disc, Dirty Bomb, they deserve it. Despite the occasional blatant cop from their heroes (Westerberg’s yowl, Clash-y pub chants), this is a confident, loud, rockin’ little record that holds you down with its opening power chords and throttles you for about 50 minutes. Original Spangles Ian Wilson and Tommy Volume kiss off music-biz foes on “Make Yourself Useful, Babe,” tell women what scuzzball boyfriends deserve in “Tear It to Pieces,” and toss off a hooky potential hit with “This Side of the Sun.” Most important, these guys bring something plenty of rock bands forget these days: the roll! You can actually dance to this record. The lyrics are memorable too—on opener “Take Care of Us,” as former Face Ian McLagan pummels the keys, Wilson and Volume bellow, “We need someone to take care of us!” It’s the least you can do.

The Star Spangles play Fontana’s May 24,