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The Number Ones (Ireland): The Number Ones

Album Notes

The Number Ones capture the wonderful moment where the ferocious energy of punk meets the uplifting tunefulness of pop, and their debut self-titled album is a worthy successor to the best work of other bands who have aimed for the same thing. Slot the Dublin-based quartet in with bands like the Boys, Milk 'N' Cookies, the Exploding Hearts, and Jay Reatard, and they fit rather well. Perhaps not up to that rarified level, but close enough. Rankings and historical import be damned though, because for the 20 minutes the album plays, you'll be too busy jumping up and down to care about fussy stuff like that. Most of the songs charge out of the gate at about 100mph and stay there, slicing through the air fiendishly thanks to knife-sharpened hooks and the rhythm section's tightly wound punch. Tracks like "I Wish I Was Lonely," "Heartsmash," and "Sharon Shouldn't" sound like jukebox hits from an alternate reality in 1977; "16" and "He's Too Good" bristle with leather-jacketed, tough-guy (albeit with a heart of gold) attitude, and the two slower songs, "Girl" and "Tell Me Why," don't affect the energy (or quality) level of the album at all. In fact, they give the album a few teardrops to go along with the bruised knuckles and bluster, which is always a good thing. The Number Ones play their retro sound perfectly straight, but not too serious, and come up with an album that has the feel and sound of a classic. A pocket-sized one for sure, but something that will sound perfectly fine in rotation with Guitar Romantic and Alternative Chartbusters. ~ Tim Sendra


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