The Impulse International - Hollywood Underground [7 inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Impulse International

Hollywood Underground [7 inch] (2008)


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 Hollywood underground" a few times too many, but it's not too bad. Plus, each part is so brief that it's hard to really get sick of it. The guitar solo lasts maybe 1.5 seconds. The choruses maybe 20. In fact, the bridge might be the longest section.

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.