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Shut Up and Drive

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Album Review

The Flairs, who hail from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, are a standard guitar/bass/drums pop-punk quartet that writes and performs quick-tempo, guitar-driven rock tunes. In their publicity materials, they make a point of citing their affection for the Ramones, but on their debut full-length, Shut Up and Drive, they cover Skid Row's "18 & Life," which is perhaps more indicative of their sound. Of course, '70s punk rock and '80s hair metal were never really that far apart musically; it was more a matter of attitude (and wardrobe). Singer Dawn Mandarino presents lyrics that focus primarily on romantic scorn, which fits with the aggressive music. But she never loses her sense of melody, and the music, while propulsive, never gets really wild. That's the mark of pop-punk, and the Flairs do it quite well.


Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s

The Flairs were an important West Coast doo wop group, best remembered for being the launching pad for both Richard Berry and Cornell Gunter, who would both go on to success in their subsequent solo careers. The original group -- Arthur Lee Maye (tenor), Thomas "Pete" Fox (2nd tenor), Obediah "Obie" Jessie (baritone), and A.V. Odum (bass) -- formed on the campus of Los Angeles' Jefferson High in 1953 and recorded one single for John Dolphin's Recorded in Hollywood label under the name the Hollywood...
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Shut Up and Drive, The Flairs
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