The New Christs’ Gloria is an earnest, energetic, solid release but ultimately lacks imagination or a sense of distinctive identity. Led by singer Rob Younger, also of Australian punk legends Radio Birdman, the New Christs turn in heartfelt performances of songs that span the gamut of vintage punkish styles. There’s classic 70s punk here as well as slightly more sophisticated hybridization with hard rock (ala Lords of the New Church), not to mention Detroit’s patented high energy pre-punk. Sadly there’s nary a memorable riff amongst the lot, or any compositional bits that are anything but pure pro forma.
Younger’s voice, as always, is an acquired taste—he’s not especially tuneful OR ruggedly powerful. His singing continually seems pushed two steps past its uttermost capabilities. Radio Birdman has tunes catchy enough to grab and hold your attention and this renders his vocals charmingly raw. In this context, he just sounds feckless.
If you’re all about de punk and can never get enough, Gloria would be a reasonable addition to your stockpile. If your standards are a bit higher, you best keep lookin’. [Impedance]
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