So So Glos sputter and spit with the friendly energy of early U.K. punk bands like The Undertones and 999; singer/bassist Alex Levine evokes the smoke-and-beer pub vibe of 999’s Nick Cash circa 1978. But at the same time, a distinctly American East Coast (Brooklyn, to be exact) sensibility permeates this modern group. Though early punk roots are clearly under these guys’ sneakered feet, a more au courant Green Day–style pop-punk essence also wafts from the members' sweat-drenched t-shirts, perhaps due to the band’s impressively tight sound. Or it may be due to the deliciously sticky melodies and songwriting. (So So Glos do cite The Kinks as an influence.) The bombastic, irresistible “Son of an American” bounces like a paddleball trying to get free; it could have every adolescent air guitarist in the country wearing out their mirrors. Grittier punk spirit is alive and well on songs like “Wrecking Ball,” “Speakeasy,” and the title track, where the feeling is very much of a blowout—a party that ends in a boom. If these guys don’t spontaneously combust soon, we’re pretty sure there’s a lot more to come.

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