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Bricktop: Broken Bottles and Suicide Throttles (Bulldog)

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You don't expect in this day and age for an aggressive, real punk-rock record to leave you humming along after it stops, but this outfit's sophomore release does just that—which is a testament to Bricktop's insistent musicality and the catchiness of their shout-along vocals. Add furious air-raid guitars and nonstop energy, and the Tucson band has another winner.

It's not all about fighting, riding motorcycles and drinking here, although those topics are still among the most mentioned. Lead vocalist Bricktop Brent and the boys also address current events, hypocrisy, supporting American troops, bullshit bloggers, staying true to your crew and one infamous visit to Texas ("Lone Star").

The sound is vintage punk 'n' roll from the late 1970s and early '80s, with a brutal toughness similar to that of nascent hardcore. "A Soldier's Prayer" boasts some nasty drag-race guitar leads; "Media Fox" could be an outtake from a great lost Stooges LP; "TTT" very nearly swings with great drumming by Downtown Dave; and, if you're paying attention, you might catch a brief Sex Pistols guitar quotation.

Many of the songs include introductory samples, often cribbed from movie dialogue and TV news. It's fun, but I'm not convinced an album this good needs the extra spice.

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