downbelows Queen & Bathurst (October 32) Rating: NNnn
Tattooed troublemakers the Downbelows serve up deliciously sweaty knee- and shoulder-bruising poppy punk garage on their tight debut. The boys temper their choppy buzzsaw guitars with major-key chirpiness, and the lyrics are less meatheaded than you'd expect - heck, Perfect Girl has the naive sappiness of an I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend. Crammed with surprisingly sweet Ramones-ish harmonies and a shitload of hooks, Queen & Bathurst has simultaneously more charm and more dirty street cred than a squeegee punk outside the Big Bop.
The Downbelows tear up the Horseshoe with Robin Black and the IRS Saturday (August 23).