Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Propeller [Propeller, 1981]
This cooperatively produced eighteen-song tape hang together for a simple reason--none of these ten Boston bands was born to rock. Not that they don't try; not that they don't often succeed. But they come to their (often punk-funked) popsongs self-consciously, with an awkwardness that is consistently charming. Only the Neats (healthy minimalists) and CCCP-TV (nervous about sex) come up with two sure-shot bounce-alongs, but only V: is totally engaging. Theme songs: Art Yard's "The Law" ("Language must go on and on and on") and Chinese Girlfriends' "Let's Be Creative" (alternate title: "Let's Be Ironic"). Assured of its grade because it costs only $4 from 21 Parkvale Avenue #1, Allston, Massachusetts 02134. B+