• cranked up! This Is a Weapon (CD, £4.95)

    label: Creep Records

    Very few bands can get away with inserting a "!" into their name, but Philadelphia punk rock outfit Cranked Up! sure do, thanks to the driving, varied, and always energetic approach qualifying their Blackout Records debut, 2005's This Is a Weapon. A relatively new project for veterans of several separate Philly punk rock concerns, and therefore freer to break out of most strict, self-imposed boundaries, Cranked Up! dabble liberally in their influences, quoting the Pistols' "New York" ("You Are the Fool") here, pure American hardcore ("Swindled") and second-generation U.K. punk rockers like the Exploited ("It's Not Right," "On the Attack") there, and even Swedish metallic pop-punkers the Backyard Babies on "Deal With It." by punk rock's nihilistic and apocalyptic standards, this is an overwhelmingly positive record, and makes for a righteous half hour of straightforward, noncommittal, pure punk entertainment fit for old-timers and young saplings alike.

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