Kiss the Clown
Endearingly youthful exuberance is a precious commodity these days, so it comes as a pleasant surprise to find it in mid-twentysomethings Kiss the Clown. The thing is, by the time most people hit that age, we’re far too jaded to take such fare seriously. Then again, Kiss the Clown has its own niche, too, namely that of the teen-coming-of-age film genre ( American Pie , anyone?). Snotty and succinct, the band’s juggling of fuzzed-up, skanking power-pop and effeminate proto-grunge-lite is mall-ready beyond belief, Pretty Paranoia wholly lending itself to good-time-angst soundtrack status. Taken as a whole, though, the 15-song album is strictly limited in its appeal — say, to my 15-year-old sister. Thank God for old age!
Rotten Records, P.O. Box 2157, Montclair, CA 91763; http://www.rottenrecords.com