THE CIGARETTE BUMS: SIDEWALKIN’

November 15th, 2017 | Album reviews

The Cigarette Bums
Sidewalkin’
Sick City / Lolipop

With these further ten tracks of retro-fuzz whack, Silverlake’s own Bums bring the Summer of Love-era garage punk full into our own bleak Trump-wracked era. Every song sounds as if it was culled from a stack of psychedelic rock platters from the era’s 1966-69 heyday. Not clever pastiches in the manner of Neil Innes or note-perfect tributes like a half a dozen notable LPs of the Paisley Underground movement, either—what the Bums wheel out is closer to the Actual THC-soaked Nastyass Thing, minimally retooled for a less optimistic era with stronger drugs. Songs like “Leather Luv” notch slightly toward Class of ‘77 punk, “Otherside” mines its own vein of remorse-snark in the manner of very early Frank Zappa and “Death in Texas” sounds like a cleverly arranged Mouse & the Traps pastiche. The finale “Mess Around” goes off in a blaze of glory worthy of a latter-day MC5. Nobody in L.A. right now is making better music than these guys.

—Ron Garmon