by Jimmy Draper
Five years later — plus or minus a few band members — the Rondelles still haven’t outgrown all their adolescent angst. And judging by their most recent single, the annoyingly cloying "T.V. Zombie," (cq) what was once endearing as sweet 16-year-olds now seems forced and tiresome coming from the mouths of twentysomethings.
Maybe it’s for the best, then, that the Washington, D.C.-based band has opted to conveniently compile most of its nonalbum material on one CD instead of releasing a proper — and probably mediocre — follow-up to 1999’s The Fox. Consider Shined Nickels and Loose Change a sort of hit-and-miss minihistory of the band’s recorded output. Collecting 7-inch singles, covers, compilation tracks and two previously unreleased songs, the album shows the band at its best (early clap-along anthems such as "Strike-Out" and "Revenge") and worst (last year’s "T.V. Zombie" and the most recently recorded songs).
Shined Nickels may be an enjoyable release for new and old fans alike, but if — as this compilation hints — the Rondelles plan to keep singing the same, increasingly stale old songs when they head back into the studio, then maybe it’s time they seriously rethink their musical mission.
E-mail Jimmy Draper at email@example.com.