Not So Sweet
Get this much straight: Stereotypical “bad girl” (and one guy) as they may appear, the Bobbyteens got the chops to back it up, Not So Sweet being the delicious fruit of this fact. During the course of its 11 swift songs, Not So Sweet displays the California quartet as punk-informed rock n’ rollers, weaned on a healthy heaping of the New York Dolls, a smattering of the Heartbreakers, and maybe a tad of early Blondie or Suzi Quatro. Part Runaways raunch with more adrenaline, part Girlschool raunch with a little less, the Bobbyteens firmly keep the pedal on the meddle, their songs (e.g., “Young & Dumb,” “Let’s Get It On,” “Late Nite TV,” “Liquid Love”) less the catchy cuts and more so the personal proclamations of livin’ la vida trashy. Still, the infectiousness of their compositions occasionally lapses into sing-songy cheerleader-isms, making Not So Sweet an exercise in inebriated, samey songcraft not unlike the Ramones’ first couple albums — that said (really, an arbitrary point, one certainly giving the album some naïve charm), highly enjoyable nonetheless.
Estrus Records, P.O. Box 2125, Bellingham, WA 98225; http://www.estrus.com