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Exploding Teenage Body Part: The Distortion

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Sure, mock the fashions, but some damn fine music came about in the 1980s. There's been a flurry of bands lately who have been trying to keep Reagan-era musical styles alive and well, and the Distortion fits right in with 'em. Imagine if Love and Rockets merged with the Psychedelic Furs and borrowed a few licks from Billy Idol, and you'll have the sound nailed.

What the Distortion may lack in blazing originality, they make up for in catchy music. Not that it's upbeat; their Goth influences show through at times, but they know a good beat when they hear it. With swirling guitars and thudding bass, each song-whether it's the up-tempo opener "Exploding Teenage Body Part" or the alternately hypnotic and wailing "Hinterland"-plays like a soundtrack to those moody teenage years.

For those people who hit their teen years during the heyday of bands like the Cure and Echo and the Bunnymen, the Distortions offer a way to revisit the sound without dredging up all those painful memories of eyeliner and trying to imitate Robert Smith's hairdo. For the rest of us, it's just good, clean retro fun.