Legends in Denim (T.A.R. Records)
Confession: I didn’t take the Likely Rads’ previous CD, One Foot in the Grave, One Hand on My Weiner, all that seriously. The title and cartoon cover art (boasting, on the back, a young man proudly thrusting forth his hot dog) suggested self-amusing suburban youth who maybe valued getting wasted over playing music; I’m not sure I even got so far as to spin it. Foolish of me, as their new release, Legends in Denim, shows: these guys have passion and chops and write tight, fast, fun skate punk with 10 times the fury of an entire Vans Warped tour.
Sixteen tunes are packed into 18 minutes, with topics ranging from Union Carbide’s crimes in Bhopal (“Gas Spill”, a 24-second burst of hardcore fury) to a goofy, sincere tribute to Just for Laughs: Gags. One song, “Denim Warriors”, is devoted to punk patches, with the band name-checking D.R.I., J.F.A., D.O.A., and the DK’s, before ending on a 1-2-S.N.F.U. chant. Most of the rest of the songs are about sex, especially anal; as the album lyrics are magic markered onto naked body parts and photographed for the booklet, the Likely Rads are still a little ways away from their “mature” period. Suddenly, though, this doesn’t seem like a bad thing at all.