For 20 years the Woggles have been one of the Southeast's grittiest garage-rock outfits. Singer Professor Mighty Manfred's rabid yelp spits whiskey on three-minute Nuggets, transforming the band's vintage soul into a steamy sauna of slashing licks and rhythmic shimmy. The Atlanta quintet knows all the moves and has even invented a couple, earning a reputation for its indefatigable performances.
Championed by E Street dude Little Steven Van Zandt, who hosts the satellite-radio show Underground Garage, the Woggles recently dropped Rock and Roll Backlash. Released via Little Steven's Wicked Cool imprint, it's their first album in four years. And it's got a tight sound and generous dose of British Invasion melodies. It's perhaps the group's best batch of songs ever, and the first disc to capture its live energy from start to finish. Highlights include the catchy pop of "There Goes Danger," which sounds like the Hollies, the reverb rumble of "Time of My Own," and a cover of the Lords' psychedelic classic "The World Is Falling."
Rock and Roll Backlash is the kind of release that ought to give these southern rebels the national audience they've always deserved.