Music » Livewire

The Groovie Ghoulies

With Jackass and Vista Cruisers. Sunday, October 31, at the Lime Spider, Akron.

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Straight-ahead Ramonesy rockin' punk will never go out of style, but it's always a pleasure to see a band getting the idea exactly right, as with San Francisco's Groovie Ghoulies. The Ghoulies know that it's not enough to be influenced just by the late New York foursome's fast songs and simple guitar riffs; to make the music mean anything, you have to absorb all the things that made the Ramones sound what it was -- the AM radio girl-group grandeur, the Beach Boys' youthful joy, B-movie cartoon spookiness, and irreverent celebration of pop culture -- and create something to call your own. For the Groovie Ghoulies (Kepi on vocals, Roach on guitar, B-Face on bass, Amy on drums), this means embracing the tongue-in-cheek, scary/silly imagery their name implies and writing catchy songs punctuated with handclaps and Chuck Berryish pop hooks, then filtering it all through a sunny California disposition, to end up not so much sounding like the Ramones as evoking the same spirit.

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