The Austin Chronicle

Record Reviews

Texas Platters

Reviewed by Greg Beets, April 14, 2000, Music

Junior Varsity

Bam Bam Bam! (Peek-A-Boo)

Better make sure your sweet tooth doesn't need a root canal before slapping this one down. Houston's Junior Varsity reinvent the goody-two-shoes, high-school spirit bunny clique as a pepped-up, super-clean rock combo hopelessly stuck somewhere between JFK's assassination and the Summer of Love. Packing 14 songs into just 20 minutes, Bam Bam Bam! is one of the few "long-playing" albums short enough to fit on a 7-inch single. Fortunately, brevity is a virtue for this schtick-happy trio. "Bam B-B-Bam Bam Bam" kicks things off with energetic, high-end vocals from bassist Kim Hammond. Drummer Matt Murillo assumes vocal duties on a fine cover version of the Floyd Dakil Combo's regional garage-rock classic "Dance, Franny, Dance." JV pays tribute to a more recent era of Texas music with "Mark Lochridge Twist," a dance named for the Sugar Shack singer. Although their riffs are crisp and their hair short, Junior Varsity holds their own with the beer-spitting distortionist crowd by substituting camp-laden novelty for garden-variety filth. Bam Bam Bam! revels in the dichotomous smile-time universe of geek rock in a manner that would do both Weird Al and the Ramones proud. No sullenheads need apply.


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