On the last occasions I visited Austria I have recollections of beautiful mountains, chocolate-box architecture, and an unforgettable moment when a band-mate of mine fell off the back of the stage at the Arena, ahh happy days! It seems I missed out on a trip to Costa Del Vienna though, as this new album from Dee Cracks is rammed full of throbbing Summer anthems. It’s as if the Austrian capital were lifted and plonked somewhere near a beach in sunny California and told to carry on.
Kicking proceedings off with Desert Storm Surf, this is one hell of a surf punk tune, riding the waves pioneered by the likes of Agent Orange. Moving onto The Samurai Challenge and the Dee Cracks truck slips into cruise mode bringing to mind prime-time Generators or Swingin Utters. Again finest punk rock with the sun on your back and a cool one in your hand. With Get Out Of My Head we see a nod to the east-coast with a 1-2-3-4 intro and some classic riffing that the bruddahs would have been proud of.
Okay, I’m getting carried away with the Cali theme as this kind of anthemic punk rock was a global phenomenon with bands like The Adverts, The Boys, Die Toten Hosen and thousands more cranking out those one, two and three-chord wonders, and Dee Cracks follow that tradition beautifully. The album continues along the lines described above – driving punk rock anthems with melodic, gravelly lead vocals accompanied by harmonies, peppered with occasional visits to the surf shack. No frills but plenty of thrills on this ride. Tom Chapman