Stiff Records’ power pop spirit, however recycled, resides in The Impulse International. The American band’s German-pressed seven-inch Hollywood Underground, from Finnish label Killer Records, is brisk at a mere two songs, but like a cheap beer with a higher than average alcohol content, it’ll still get you where you need to go.
Owing a great deal to Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, Dave Edmunds, and the like, the vinyl opens with its nervous, jittery, peppy title track. Admittedly, the band milks the brief chorus of “oh oh oh / this is
The B-side, “Gotta Run Home,” is the stronger track. Slightly slower, each section has more breathing room. There’s an honest-to-Bob intro and even a jangly guitar lead. I’m a sucker for build-ups right before the last chorus, which the trio delightfully provides me with.
Hollywood Underground is a pleasing listen, albeit a derivative one. And while folks might be better off spinning My Aim is True, Labour of Lust, or Tracks on Wax 4, there’s nothing wrong with setting aside $4 for this little number as well.