The fifth full-length from this prolific San Diego quartet (completists have many EPs, split LPs, compilation appearances and singles to track down on several different labels) continues their penchant for off-kilter, post punk zaniness, all of which is deeply indebted to old school punk compilations like ?No New York? and ?Yes L.A.? Opening with the semi-title track ?Rats,? which, although an original composition, sounds like a lo-fi, avant garde rendition of Syd Barrett?s same-titled track and makes a great companion to What Noise?s cover from the Barrett tribute ?Beyond The Wildwood.? Abrasive, angular, spunky music is the band?s modus operandi, with tracks like ?Lie With The Lamb? bearing a distinctive 70?s NY street swagger a la Suicide meets Richard Hell & The Voidoids.
Vocalist Mike Vermillion spits, squeals, coos and shreiks his way with reckless abandon through the band?s repetoir, taking no prisoners (or voice lessons) along the way. He has also apparently spent long evenings studying the Robert Quine songbook and has all the shards of white noise down pat. Bassist Ashish Vyas is the glue that holds everything together and his big phat riffs carry the bouncy ?The Big Girl of Beauty? alongside an appropriately snappy backbeat from drummer Andy Robillard. It?s great to hear that old school punk is not dead and GGGA are recommended to fans of the rough trade street punks and the aforementioned punk comps in particular as well as anyone with a smattering of Dolls, Dead Boys, Voidoids, Heartbreakers or Stooges albums in their collections.
It?s not without its distractions, however, as ?Love Is?? too short to make an impression and the annoying instrumental ?Dub II? is worthless filler, which consists of little more than Vermillion making funny noises to ill effect. ?Taxi Up? is just strangulated squawking that finds Vermillion on the verge of vomiting at any minute and is best avoided. And what the purpose of the 31-second ?Tin Pie? is is anyone?s guess. But then the endearing charms of the geeky love song ?Heart On A Chain? and the slithering, slimy, funky dub of the Jonathan Richmondesque ?Turn Out The Lights? suggests that with a little more attention to details and some smoothing around the rough edges, these boys might still release something that would warrant more than the casual listen for curiosity?s sake. 6/10 -- Jeff Penczak (17 October, 2005)