The band's next three records, though still solid, lacked the sonic excitement of Rock'n'Roll. So, a few half-baked breakups and a seven-year wait later, the new Cynics release, Living Is the Best Revenge (Get Hip), is not just a comeback surprise, but one of the best records of the year. Blasted out in just three days, the songs are catchier, tighter, and more frantically produced (with knob-twisting assistance from trash-rock producer Tim Kerr) than they've been in years.
And the band's live show hasn't diminished. Singer Michael Kastelic still makes a tambourine look tough by bloodying up his forearm with it, and when guitarist Gregg Kostelich hits the fuzz pedal, it'll double the bubbles in your beer. The Cynics are a gas in more ways than one.