Thursday, July 02, 2020

Jay Allen and the Archcriminals - Fun Is Fun, The Trilogy Is Done.

With Rum Bar Records having become home base for the best of Boston punk, garage, and rock and roll, it was never in doubt that Jay Allen and the Archcriminals would be a big part of that. Jay Allen (Quest for Tuna, Thumbcramp, Bosley) is a legend in the Boston punk scene going all the way back to the '80s. Backed by the Archcriminals, he has delivered the new album Fun Is Fun, The Trilogy Is Done. on Rum Bar. This eight-song long player follows Fun Is Fun But This Is Unsanitary (2003) and Fun Is Fun But You Gotta Be F'n Kidding Me (2010). In true Jay Allen fashion, this is a unique and entertaining creation influenced by '70s punk, garage rock, old rock and roll, and even a little pop. Jay Allen is a genuine original. When you put on one of his albums, you immediately know who you're listening to. What does Fun Is Fun... sound like? Well that changes from track to track! Opener "Cry A Little Tear" (featuring Emily Grogan on backing vocals) is an on-point homage to doo wop and early rock and roll. I've never heard anything quite like this before. It's like Sha Na Na meets Elvis meets The Dictators, and it's just so damn good! "Little Daggers" brings to mind label mates Indonesian Junk - think trashy '70s punk with a pop heart. This song really hits me hard. I love the raw emotion in the vocals and lyrics, and man that chorus is sticking to my skull like glue! "Grow Some Stones" is great straight-forward pub rock and roll not unlike The Dogmatics. "Big Lie" and "Beautiful Chaos" are rough-edged pop songs with a little bit of a Replacements feel. "I'll Be Damned" is some rip-roaring cow-punk to get you up and moving. And then there's "Chopped Liver". Who else would ever think to write a song about heartbreak with a backdrop of Jewish cuisine, and then throw in a shout-out to Fred G. Sanford for good measure? Jay Allen is a freakin' genius! If you're a fan of Boston punk/garage or the Rum Bar label in general, Fun Is Fun... needs to be on your radar.


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