The Phantom Tollbooth
The Good, The Bad and the Ugly
Artist: The Huntingtons
Label: Tooth & Nail
Tracks: 22 tracks/36:17 minutes

There's no doubt that through my late teens, and throughout college, I was a big fan of the punk scene.  Getting into it somewhat later, I wasn't as knowing as many of my companions, nevertheless, I eventually learned what was worth listening to, and what was just a bunch of rich kids trying to make a quick buck.

It's been a few years since I bought my last punk CD, but when given the opportunity to review this one, I figured it might be fun to delve back into the G5/C5 progressions that I had listened to in the past. Not only was it fun, I found this album downright refreshing--in a grimy, sweaty kind of way.

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly is a live album, recorded in Newark, Delaware.  That's not exactly New York Dolls territory, nonetheless, the Huntingtons pull off a great, high-energy 22 song CD. Starting off the album is "Pencil Neck," an opener reminiscent of the Ramones, the CD proceedes at a similar frenzied pace.  However, they aren't just a one-dimensional rip-off. Track six, "FFT," has a great sound that reminds me at times of Black Flag, but familiar punk strains didn't end there in an album that encompasses nearly all of the golden years of punk.  "Bubblegum Girl" and the socially-aware "Cracked" are among my other favorites on the album.

In the end, the Huntingtons manage to grab hold of the true  punk spirit, without straying into an egotistical abyss, and without falling prey the socially-deviant image that is assumed about nearly any punk band today.  Loud and fun, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is an album that can have you jumping madly about on the furniture -- then be sincerely apologetic enough to foot the resulting cleaning bill. Enjoy.

By Corey Welton  (3/16/99)


22 songs in 36 minutes????? Whew! These young people certainly have plenty of energy that they put to productive use in this relentless live performance. Despite the speed, the delivery is commendable--most of the words were understandable on the first pass--as they bounce along like the Energizer bunny. In our culture, each generation distinguishes itself from its parents through something that the oldsters either cannot comprend or or unwilling to participate. It would take a pretty buff middle-ager to keep up with the Huntingtons. I wonder if they set up cots in the back for
those who attempt it.

By Linda T. Stonehocker (3/22/99)