The Glass Heroes proudly proclaim their allegiance to "unadulterated and undiluted punk," and listening to their self-titled Malt Soda debut, it takes no guesswork to trace their influences straight back to the late '70s. For one thing, they've completely nailed covers of two of the best songs from that era -- The Professionals' "Kick Down the Doors," and The Saints' "Stranded" -- especially the guitar sound. Better yet, their originals come off almost as catchy as the classics. Whether it's the power chords and straight-ahead rhythms that give them away ("Better Now Than Later"), or traces of Stiv Bators in front man Keith Jackson's deep, jagged voice ("90 Days"), the Glass Heroes can make a studied tribute sound almost off-handed. Especially good is "King of the Day," with its great little guitar solo and sneering chorus; "Long Hot Summer," which makes us want to shout along (for obvious reasons this time of year); and "I'm on Fire," a melodic call to revolution that proves even punks of a certain age can hang on to their youthful ideals. And listen to "Last Farewell" for a lesson on what old-school torchbearers are pissed about these days: new-school sellouts. In the name of Joe Strummer!
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