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The Mooney Suzuki
ELECTRIC SWEAT
(COLUMBIA)

Stars graphics

Last year, NYC garage-punk mainstays the Mooney Suzuki started edging into the mainstream by landing an opening slot on the Hives tour and scoring TV airplay on both a stylish Nike commercial and The Osbournes. Now frontman Sammy James Junior and company have got themselves a major-label deal, the first fruit of which is this enhanced reissue of their second album, which was originally released a year ago on the indie label Gammon.

Produced by Jim Diamond (White Stripes), the disc combines youthful energy with retro smarts. The first single, " In a Young Manís Mind, " might be the best summary yet of the new generationís garage-punk ethos: " In a young manís mind/Itís a simple world/Thereís a little room for music/And the rest is girls. " Sammy and guitarist Graham Tyler are masters of the trash-pop riff, and the rhythm-section members stumble over one another in ecstasy. The Mooney Suzuki arenít above sophistication: the mod vocal harmonies on " Itís Not Easy " are a highlight, and the tender heartbreak of " Oh Sweet Susanna " is punctuated by acoustic guitar and handclaps. Even the two instrumentals on what they lovingly refer to as " Side Two " are too much fun to be considered filler.

BY SEAN RICHARDSON

Issue Date: April 10 - 17, 2003
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