The Bamboo Kids’ 2003 debut was one of the best rock ‘n roll albums you never heard, built on classic three-chord progressions and straight-on beats, but crackling with dangerous, rambunctious energy. Originally released on an obscure Norwegian label and picked up belatedly by Pittsburgh’s Get Hip, the band’s self-titled scorched the ears of the few people that heard it, but came too late to profit from the watered-down garage craze of the early ‘00s. Now, three years on, the band is back with just-as-good Feel Like Hell, another unfashionable, uncompromising block of killer rockers a la the early Stones, Ramones, and New York Dolls. Stand-out cuts this time include “If I Had My Way”, all smouldering guitar chug and descanting vocals, the crazed shout-along rockabilly of “Child Prodigy”, and the very Stones-ish “Palpitations”. You’ll catch a whiff of the Clash S-T in a couple of tracks—the dub-style bass of “Eternal War”, and the “Clash City Rockers”-esque anarchies of “Take What’s Mine”. And, like all real punks, the Bamboo Kids are pissed as hell about politics; their “USA out of NYC” is the best answer yet to the GOP Convention’s smarmy, self-serving takeover of Gotham in 2004.
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