[22 July 2008]
The Smithereens are a great power-pop bar band. That may read like an oxymoron, but it’s the truth. Vocalist Pat DiNizio might sing the lost-my-girl-blues with songs like “Only a Memory” and “Drown in My Own Tears”, but his fellow band mates—guitarist Jim Babjak, drummer Dennis Diken, and bassist Severo Jornacion—also help him work up a powerful head of steam. Sure, you can pick up these songs on a greatest hits collection. But it’s far better when DiNizio sings his great line, “She stood just like Bill Wyman”, in front of a sweaty, beer-soaked audience. Many of these songs are a few decades old now, but you wouldn’t gather that from this live date. It still sounds like there are a few open wounds left. Better still, in addition to the group’s high-powered musical pain formula, there’s also a cover of the Batman theme tacked on at the end.