Rhythm & Views 


DAMN, THOSE SCANDINAVIANS sure know how to rock. And I'm not talking about Abba or Aqua either. First there was the Hellacopters and Gluecifer, both out of Sweden, and before that sleaze-punks Turbonegro from Norway. Now, from Oslo, fellow Norwegian nut jobs the Retardos intermix '70s flash and the 'Copters' gargantuan guitar licks with garage-bursting American trash punk à la the New Bomb Turks and Electric Frankenstein for a lip-smacking Nordic smorgasbord of speed and power. Clocking in at a lightning quick 25 minutes, these 10 blasts of supercharged punk perfection whiz by faster than a live set by the terminally tweaked Zeke. And these Abba-bashing trash brats aren't squeamish about displaying their taste in seminal late '70s First Wave American punk influences either: G.G. Allin and Gang Green. On Allin's "Gimmie Some (Head)," the Retardos match the depraved sexual bravado of the original (recorded with MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer back in '81) with spitted-through-clenched-teeth vocalizing and skull shattering instrumentation. On the skinhead-drinking anthem "Alcohol" by longtime Boston drunks Gang Green, the vodka-swilling Retardos shout out the pro-booze lyrics with all the alcoholic splash of Chris Doherty's original intoxicated hardcore vision. Maniacal lead guitar patented loosely after devil-sanctified metalheads the Hookers cuts a razor-sharp profile that warrants undivided respect and points for originality. Face it, Abba is dead-and-buried. Long live the next waves of Scandinavian rock devotion! The Retardos rule the frozen tundra, and the States are next.

More by Ron Bally


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