Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Thunderbirds Are Now!

  • Justamustache [Frenchkiss, 2005] ***
  • Make History [Frenchkiss, 2006] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Justamustache [Frenchkiss, 2005]
Art-punks thrash around their garage-rock town ("From: Skulls," "Better Safe Than Safari"). ***

Make History [Frenchkiss, 2006]
From Detroit, a brother team over a rhythm section that's growing muscles, and though Scott Allen's keyboards provide the abundant hooks, Ryan Allen defines the sound. His voice high and desperate, his guitar jagged, Ryan has trust issues, but they're social--there's not a single relationship song on what is formally a high-anxiety pop record. "The things that people say/The way that people talk/Make me want to take the words right out of their mouths," he yelps, then ventures: "This is why we war." Maybe not--not exclusively, anyway. But it's exciting that he cares. A-

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