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The Goldstars
Purple Girlfriend
Pravda Records

The Goldstars are fun in a Fleshtones, garage rock shindig way. Think of 'em as an audio toga party that can turn even dull weeknights into an Animal House Friday night.

Original, however, is something The Goldstars are not. For instance, "No Friend of Mine" is a thinly disguised rewrite (both melodically and lyrically) of "Stepping Stone," that big hit for The Monkees. But you'll likely be stomping so wildly all over the living room while it plays, you won't even notice the strange feeling of déjà vu it gives off. Sure, they may be derivative; but they're also smart. The track "D.M.V." complains about a girl with the attentiveness (or lack thereof?) of a Department of Motor Vehicles employee. Elsewhere, "All About You" describes an overly self-centered girlfriend. Might she be the long lost sister to that gal in The English Beat's "Mirror In The Bathroom"? Well, whatever the case, with its driving "Ballroom Blitz" rhythm, "All About You" is a sweet winner.

It's not exactly clear what the band means by the mysterious "purple girlfriend" this CD is named after. In fact, the title track is a Batman theme-sounding instrumental number, which gives zero lyrical clues. The group also closes its CD with another instrumental, "Comin' Home Baby." These instrumentals, like all the other tracks on this disc, are soaked in groovy keyboard work from a guy called Skipper. Nice work, little buddy!

If you're anything like me, you find today's 'emo era' just too dang serious. There are a billion bands with mop-headed, manic-depressive mope-rs crying over their chords. Such dire circumstances make The Goldstars stand out all the more. They bash at their instruments and shout/sing till their voices are hoarse. And if they're depressed over anything, they're certainly not saying so with the music. It's almost as if they're suggesting that no problem is so big that a tom-tom pound and power chord can't solve it. Ah, if only life were so simple.

Dust off those Beatle boots and iron that old paisley shirt, because The Goldstars are everything that was cool about 60's music. Crank it up, baby, because this CD sounds like a Friday night!

-Dan MacIntosh

Track Listing:
1. D.M.V.
2. No Friend of Mine
3. Fire
4. One + One
5. Purple Girlfriend
6. Go Baby Go
7. It's All About You
8. She's Late
9. Angry Eyes
10. Comin' Home Baby

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