Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Psychotic Youth - Bamboozle!

Psychotic Youth was a terrific Swedish rock'n'roll band with tendencies towards garage (the Nomads were a big influence), punk and power-pop. They went through many changes throughout the band's life (you can read about it all on their Wikipedia page) but with songwriter/singer/guitarist Jorgen Westman at the helm, there was always quality music. I do not have many of their records, but this CD, a compilation of material from previous releases Juice and Pop, is a fantastic piece of powerful pop.

This record opens with the exquisite pop of "Japanese Boy", apparently a million seller hit in Europe for Aneka, not that I have ever heard that version! Evoking the beach and summer sun and fun, "Summer is On" is a perfect anthem for the season - right up there with the Excessories "Summer"! (Sorry - gotta plug my old band!) This has some wonderful high-energy and a wild guitar solo, as well as amazing backing vocals! "MTV" is a drivin', sing-along anthem, deriding the station, while "Mercy" is an incomparably infectious ode to premature ejaculation and "Looking For a Love" (not the r'n'b oldie) has cool dynamics, changes and layers of fine vocals.

There's even more amazing harmonies in "Elevator Girl" and "Let's Go" is the best Ramones song not written by them. Even in Sweden, parents didn't understand kids wanting to be in r'n'r bands, as is evidenced by "Hang Around" and Jorgen shows his reverence for his idols with the Plimsouls' "How Long Will It Take". They also pay homage to local heroes Sator (their Chips K. co-produced this record) with their blazing "Hot Rod Girl". "Can't Do That" is a manic piece of garage/punk/pop with cool call'n'response, as is the terrific "Speak the Same Language" and the riff-tastic "All in the Way". There's more power-garage in "That Girl's Alright", a 60's pop cover in "When You Walk In the Room" (well, the Ramones did do "Needles and Pins", so why not?!) and it all closes with "Hot Wire My Heart" (not the Crime song), another blazing piece of poppy punk.

Really a wonderful bit of good-time, summer-fun, high-speed punk-pop! Get it if you can find it! (My CD cover looks nothing like the photos I was able to find on the web, though.)