The Little Killers

A Real Good One (Gern Blandsten)

As the saying has it, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Usually, that's a bad thing, but for N.Y.C.'s Little Killers and their sophomore disc, A Real Good One, it's terrific.

Since the immortal Sonics in the '60s, the Stooges in the '70s, the Milkshakes in the '80s, and more recently the Husbands and Dirtbombs, garage rock (along with musical cousins garage punk and trash rock) has always rumbled, leaving subtlety bruised on the barroom floor. Its M.O. is clipped, streamlined guitar riffs, bashed-out rhythms, uniformity of tempo (fast or faster), and singing that compensates in chutzpah and urgency for what it lacks in actual vocal quality.

That's the Little Killers all over -- two gals and one dude dispensing 13 terse, anguished bursts of churning, rockin' swill, expressing devotion or desperation toward matters of the heart and/or loins. The deep rasp of singer-guitarist Andy Maltz evokes the Saints' Chris Bailey (what do you mean, you've never heard Australia's greatest band?) and the Damned's Dave Vanian, as well as a touch of Johnny Thunders' dissipated yowl. Play Real Good One LOUD in your home, dorm, or office, and become a proud public nuisance.