Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Live at the Rat [Rat, 1977]
Boston's answer to Live at CBGB's continues the traditionalism of a folkie bastion whose hit rock acts--Geils, Aerosmith, Eponym--have been positively proud of their unoriginality. From Susan and Thundertrain, ready to go heavy if somebody'll buy them the amps, to the British-invasion tributes of Sass, the Boize, and (the sassiest boize in the bunch) the Real Kids, this wave isn't new. And nobody's gonna catch it. Faves: Willie Alexander's "Pop Tune," Third Rail's "Bad Ass Bruce," and two two-minute ravers by DMZ that ought to be covered by the Radiators from Space. C+