Two Tens, The - On Repeat,
This is the second album from the L.A.-based duo of Adam Bones (guitar, vocals) and Rikki Styxx (drums, background vocals). Apparently, their debut was raw garage punk, but for this one they wanted something different and brought in producer John Fields for some of the numbers. John has worked on many pop albums, and he brought in those sensibilities to smooth the sound and move them way more into the area most commonly ruled by the likes of Bowling For Soup. But, whereas BFS have strong pop numbers with hooks, just played in a punk style, there is the impression that The Two Tens are coming at this slightly differently. Here we have a punk band that is attempting to smooth things through, and move into a different market to what they would normally be part of.
Sometimes it works, but there are plenty of others when it doesn’t and the result is an album that doesn’t gel as it should. It is quite frustrating, as when they just put their heads down and go full-on CBGB’s then it is exciting, but then there are others that have way too much of a pop element and they just don’t seem to belong. The album contains 13 original numbers along with a storming cover of Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s “Nerve Damage!,” which at 1:39 is one of the shorter numbers on the album. That it is a good album is never in doubt, but I would personally much rather they were more focussed, as the end result would be more intense and direct.