The Brazen Rogues' Shamelessly Bold Scoundrels sounds like hell, just as it should: This is violent, vintage punk rock. "I miss the old scene," declares singer-guitarist Vicks in "Getting Old Sucks,"a lament that's practically a "Summer of '69" for a generation that's swapped mohawks for baby strollers. Working nostalgic themes, the Cleveland trio blasts out the blue-collar oi. Vicks and drummer Mark Rheaume bring the metal, sparking life into by-the-numbers circle-pit hardcore, thanks to their superior execution. The band specializes in raw sing-alongs, rhyming "rampage" and "12-gauge" over a backdrop of broken glass and baseball bats.
But ugly catharsis is a small part of this album's emotional spectrum, which is rounded out by an Irish traditional, a patriot anthem, and a punk ballad. (And the cowbell in "I Hate You" provides a welcome shot of ironic humor.) The masturbation fantasy "Chocolate Milk" is the Rogues at their goofiest: "We had our fill/Went down to Murray Hill/You had pasta fagioli /Man I thought that was cool." What the disc lacks in finesse, it makes up in heart. In spades.