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On their debut, the Stuck-Ups were trying too hard to be hard with one tiny little song after another about prostitution, masturbation, etc. But as Three Dog Night once sang, it's "easy to be hard." On their follow-up, the Seattle quartet rock as, well, hard as ever, in their patented old-school punk-pop way, but it all seems to be coming a lot more naturally to them now. Taking their cues from such feisty femme-fronted combos as Blondie and X-Ray Spex -- whose Germ Free Adolescents cover artwork also seems to have served as aesthetic inspiration -- they have energy and attitude to spare, but their still-tiny little songs (12 in a mere 22 minutes) just don't leave as much of an impression as they should. They're zippy enough, but lack sticking power. Human Doll Express is enough of an improvement over their first release, however, that one can only hope the third time will be the charm for the Stuck-Ups.
|Label:||Sympathy 4 The R.I.|