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Groovie Ghoulies 

The Teenage Bottle Rockets, the Teenage Harlots, and the Vista Cruisers. Wednesday, July 6, at the Lime Spider, Akron.

Straight-ahead Ramones-style rockin' punk will never go out of style, but it's always a pleasure to see a band get the idea exactly right. Take San Francisco's Groovie Ghoulies. The Ghoulies know that it's not enough to be influenced just by the late New York foursome's fast songs and simple guitar riffs. To make the music mean anything, you have to absorb all the things that made the Ramones' sound what it was -- the AM radio girl-group grandeur, the Beach Boys' youthful joy, cartoonish B-movie spookiness, and irreverent celebration of pop culture -- and create something to call your own. For the Groovie Ghoulies, this means embracing the tongue-in-cheek, scary/silly imagery their name implies and writing catchy songs punctuated with handclaps and Chuck Berryish pop hooks, then filtering it all through a sunny California disposition. As a result, the Ghoulies don't end up sounding like the Ramones as much as they evoke the same spirit.

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