Who Stole My Zoo? (self-released)

Rooftop Vigilantes 

Who Stole My Zoo?
(self-released)

Though the Rooftop Vigilantes recorded their last release with indie-rock legend J. Robbins, band members haven't become studio snobs. Until the sophomore LP, Real Pony Glue, finds a label and sees the light of day, there's this home-recorded, self-released cassette to tide over fans. Who Stole My Zoo? feels like it was thrown together in an afternoon (which is probably true), but the tape's ramshackle, off-the-cuff quality is part of its charm. The best songs here are hyperactive anthems. "Kitty Vacant" kicks off as screaming, unhinged punk-pop before seamlessly transforming into a slow-burn jam with a chorus that's pure cane sugar. Sadly, the second half of the tape doesn't fare as well. "No Dad Summer" is a throwaway that never lives up to its awesome title. But it's short and sweet, unlike the closing "My Year Itches," Rooftop Vigilantes' longest song to date (clocking in at a whopping three and a half minutes) that morphs into a repetitive dirge without any payoff. Still, for a young band that churns out tunes at a Bob Pollard pace, a dud is forgivable. Who Stole My Zoo? may have made a better 7-inch single, but it's the welcome sound of a band saying, "Fuck it, let's write and record four songs for the hell of it." It's an attitude that's punk as hell, and that's never a bad thing.

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