"On the Guest List"

By Dark Starr

I had always thought of these guys as a punk band. That’s only so true, though. They definitely have an old school punk vibe a lot of the time. But, there is also some space rock and just a lot of good roots rock here. I thought of Hawkwind on the very first cut, "View From My Cadillac", but not in terms of mimicry. It's more like Hawkwind filtered through the Vibrators' own gritty sensibility. The punk feel is never far from the surface, even if it is less obvious on more accessible tunes like "Rock n Roll Clown" and the rockabilly-influenced "Birdland is Closed". When these guys want to put the hammer down, they can still do it, though. One listen to "The Ohio" and "My Stalker" will prove the anger is still there.

What's great about this album is how it acts as a kind of tour of rock n roll history. You'll hear traces of Roy Orbison, The Dead Kennedys, the Kinks and the Ramones throughout, but in each case, the Vibrators tip their hat without falling into derivative mimickry. The fire still burns in these guys. This is quite an entertaining set.