Rough Kids’ second LP for Sorry State is precisely what you want from a follow-up record. Delivering the same infectious combination of hooks and energy that you loved on the first LP, it nevertheless comes off as more intense and more streamlined than their debut. The songs tend to be shorter and faster (well, except for the anthem “Television,” whose bold pop hooks are an album highlight), but Rough Kids manage to cram even more ideas and more overlapping vocal and guitar hooks into those tighter spaces. This new record reminds me of classics like the Damned’s Machine Gun Etiquette or the Dickies’ Dawn of the Dickies in the way that it holds onto the classic pop songwriting and sonic nuance of ’77 punk, but ratchets up the density, speed, and urgency to the point where they can complete with the ferocity of the best hardcore bands in the world.
Note that the vinyl contains an exclusive bonus track not available on the digital version.