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Album Review

Les Thugs' last record before their short-lived sojourn to the higher-profile Sub Pop label, 1991's I.A.B.F. (the titular similarity to the Heartbreakers' L.A.M.F. is no doubt intentional, but the similarly titled song explains that the initials stand for "International Anti-Boredom Front") sounds about the same as the records that came before and after. Hardcore intensity mixes with a Replacements/Saints-style sense of pop songcraft; although loud and fast are the rules, songs like "I Love You So" and "Good Friends" are as sweet as their titles, and even darker-hued songs like "Stop the War" and "Paranoia" don't stint on the melody. The Buzzcocks-like instrumental "N.6" that opens the album is a particular highlight, but all ten songs have an impressive hummability level. The one problem is that a few of these songs overstay their welcome by a minute or two. "And He Kept on Whistling" combines a haunting chorus with some of the album's most intriguing lyrics, but it could easily be cut in half from its nearly six-minute length. Overall, however, I.A.B.F. is as anti-boring as its title.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s

This melodic-hardcore band from France was signed to Sub Pop in 1993. Many of the band's albums are available in the U.S.; 1989's Electric Troubles and 1990's Still Hungry were compiled on one disc by Sub Pop, who also released As Happy As Possible in 1993, while 1991's I.A.B.F. is available...
Full bio
I.A.B.F., Les Thugs
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