reviewed the promising cassette demo from The Spectres, and since then the Pittsburgh garage duo has done nothing to diminish my initial excitement. Baby, You're Too Pretty To Rumble is the band's new tape out on King Pizza Records - a ten track ball of fire that combines everything I love about lo-fi garage trash with everything I love about late '50s/early '60s rock n' roll. The Spectres are everything a garage rock band ought to be, right down to the bargain basement fidelity and thumping three-chord simplicity. James and Dan both play multiple instruments and thus manage to kick up a racket worthy of a five-piece ensemble. Over the course of a ten song album, these guys really get the chance to show what they can do. If you like pure primal '60s garage rock, the title track will have you shaking your stuff in no time. And "Girl, I Want Your Love" is trashed-out British Invasion/'60s frat action that could hold its own next to just about any Back From the Grave cut. But what separates The Spectres from so many like-minded garage revivalists is that their influences go back all the way back to early rock n' roll and doo wop. "Night Goes Rollin By" brings to mind what a "garage" band might have sounded like in 1959, while "Drive In, Tonight" sounds like it ought to be playing in the background of some crucial scene from American Graffiti. The album's standout track, "I'm A Hog 4 U", comes off like a head-on collision between The Rip Offs and your local oldies station. And if you crank "Cocktail Shaker" at max volume, you've got yourself an instant dance party wherever you may be.
It may be 2017, but The Spectres take me back to the early '90s garage heyday by way of 1962. Baby, You're Too Pretty To Rumble is about as close as you can get to a live album without actually being a live album. This is rock n' roll, man, and ya gotta love it!