The Hangmen


8 p.m. Thursday, May 20; at Old Ironsides, 1901 10th Street; with the Smugglers, the Knockoffs and Black Dahlias; $8. Also, 10 p.m. Friday, May 21; at the Distillery, 2107 L Street; with the Snobs and the Helper Monkeys; $6.

Veteran Los Angeles junk-rock band the Hangmen made another record. On the good side, frontman Bryan Small has a Nuggets snarl—which falls somewhere between Sky Saxon and Graham Parker—down pat, and a few of his songs here could be real romp-’em stomp-’em barnburners if the band didn’t sound like it had just raided the cough-syrup aisle at Walgreens. Also, a few riffs reek of glue-sniffing authenticity, and Rane Raitsikka’s guitar leads sometimes approach the temple of the roasted mind. That said, this band’s attack is closer to old pussy-ass Poison records than it is to, say, vintage Monks, or Sabbath. Bottom line: If you’re going to put in the time to make a riff-laden rock record, make sure it careens out of control a bit or sounds at least vaguely menacing. Hope the Hangmen are better live.