The Explosion is one of today's best live punk bands; hailing from Boston, their live show puts most West Coast punk bands to shame. And the five-piece's major-label debut, Black Tape, uses just-flamboyant-enough vocalist Matt Hock as the ribbon to wrap their Sex Pistols-meets-AC/DC sound into a neat little package.
The Explosion's attempt to relay its live energy on Black Tape, their third LP, makes for a solid album. But when a record is so well-produced that it sounds too tight and polished to have possibly been recorded in one take, one might forget that punk rock is meant to be raw and spontaneous. Or is it?
The Explosion released records on Jade Tree, Revelation and Tarantulas before signing with Virgin, but the band has hardly changed its sound over the last few years. And they may be the catalyst solid punk rock needs to garner mainstream recognition -- provided that doesn't take away from the genre's original intention, of course.
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