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Not Now!

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Album Review

It seems lately that every band that deserved to grab the brass ring back in the day (and a few that clearly didn't) have been doing the reunion thing, so it was probably just a matter of time until the A-Bones joined their ranks. Truth to tell, for a band that broke up in the mid-'90s, the A-Bones have been remarkably lively in the new millennium, playing frequent reunion shows and cutting a new track for their career-defining anthology, Daddy Wants a Cold Beer, in 2004, so it should come as no great surprise they've chosen to make it official and record a new long-player. Not Now! is less aggressively sloppy than their earlier efforts, but their frantic, bash-it-out spirit is still clearly there even if the group's technique has tightened up; from the first notes of the Bo Diddley-in-the-jungle travelogue "Geraldine" to the last-call rave-up "Bing Bong (There's a Party Goin' On)," Not Now! makes it clear that this band's modus operandi of "rock now, worry later" hasn't changed a bit in the past 15 years. As usual, covers dominate this set, though most are obscure enough that you'll have to consult a serious record collector geek to find out who previously recorded "Granny Tops 'Em at the Hop," "The Rooster," and "Bad Times," and one of the A-Bones' compatriots, Andy Shernoff, contributes a new number, the appropriately creepy "Shallow Grave" (based on the true story of Arizona serial killer Charles "Smitty" Schmid). The A-Bones also give another overlooked legend a moment in the spotlight, as Dave "Baby" Cortez contributes some snazzy organ to a new version of his classic "Cat Nip." Kim Fowley fans will get a laugh out of the cryptic homage "Jupiter Bulldog," the A-Bones get moody on "Outcast" and "Stolen Moments," and new guy Ira Kaplan (on leave from Yo La Tengo) adds new spice to the band's aural goulash on keyboards and guitar. If you missed the A-Bones, Not Now! will make you glad they're back, and if you weren't hip to them before, these 15 tunes will introduce you to one of the most rollicking bands in the land — if this record doesn't get your party jumping, you better check your guests' pulses.


Formed: Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Bashing out garage rock years before it was fashionable and rockabilly-influenced sounds as if the Stray Cats had never happened, the A-Bones were a Brooklyn-based five-piece that approached the sloppy greatness of rock & roll's past with a beer-addled enthusiasm that had nothing to do with "oldies" or "nostalgia" and everything to do with the primal impulse to play music that's fast, loud, and wild. Named for a tune by the Trashmen, the A-Bones were led by vocalist Billy Miller and drummer Miriam...
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Not Now!, The A-Bones
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