The Stranglers: IV Rattus Norvegicus

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ImageNotable as the first American release by a British new-wave outfit, this disc also rates among the highest-charted punk-rock LPs in the UK. It’s easy to see why, because the Stranglers’ best moments combine the kineticism of “Light My Fire” with the keyboard mania of ? and the Mysterians. True, several of the selections are not so much sung as grunted. And by comparison with “Peaches” and “Princess of the Streets,” the Stones’ most sexist creations seem like the work of the Berkeley Women’s Music Collective. Still, the set merits a listen, if only because such well-hooked nonsense as “(Get a) Grip (on Yourself)” suggests the possibility of better things to come.

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