Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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The Screaming Blue Messiahs

  • Gun Shy [Elektra, 1986] B+
  • Bikini Red [Elektra, 1987] B+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Gun Shy [Elektra, 1986]
Last year's Good and Gone import EP was too perfect for neogarage, too formally aware to get rough enough, but here (with two of the EP's best reprised) these pros seem like a different kind of tribute band--not Garageland Calling but London Sandinistas, strictly roots punks who can really play their axes. I don't mean ex-punks, either. They bury those roots except when they need a hook, and age has not withered nor custom staled their compulsion to snarl at the military-industrial complex and the girl next door. B+

Bikini Red [Elektra, 1987]
Slot "I Wanna Be a Flintstone" as a college-radio novelty that insults their cockney roots in Clash 'n' blues if you wanna. I say it's definitive, situating their Americana, their apocalypse, and their primitivism amidst the illustrated literature whence they came. B+