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Backyard Babies 

Tinnitus (Liquor & Poker)

If rock critics ran the world, the Backyard Babies would be headlining stadiums instead of sweating it out in closet-sized rock dives. But none of the three albums the Swedish band's released since 1997 has managed to awaken slumbering U.S. rock fans. See how influential the press is?

Liquor & Poker is attempting to rectify this situation with Tinnitus, a 12-track best-of culled from 1997's Total 13, 2001's Making Enemies Is Good, and 2003's Stockholm Syndrome. Every track here is brass-knuckled rock and roll in the spirit of Motörhead, Social Distortion, and Hanoi Rocks. The Babies have got riffs to spare and choruses crispy and catchy enough to convert any listener with a taste for punk-metal grrr. Besides, their Eurovision street-trash look is damn close to perfect (a couple of unfortunate beards excepted). It's high time American rock kids let the Backyard Babies kick out their jams.

More by Phil Freeman

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