As a member of both The Nerves and The Breakaways (both featuring The Plimsouls’ Peter Case), as well as fronting his own band The Beat, Paul Collins is more entitled than most to lay claim to such a regal sobriquet.
Recorded in Detroit with garage rock guru Jim Diamond, his thirteenth solo album does what it says on the tin, jittery anthems like C’mon Let’s Go! and Do You Wanna Love Me? as highly-strung as the tuning heads on Collins’ trusty 12- string guitar.
With local luminaries including drummer Dave Shettler (from the criminally under rated Sights) and Wally Palmer from The Romantics chipping in, mop-top anthems like Hurting’s On My Side come with a valedictory feel, while a faithful rendition of Alex Chilton’s The Letter acts as a fitting tribute from a fellow trailblazer.
Insular stuff, for sure, but Collins knows the genre works best when its heart is aching and its head is lodged firmly in the clouds. ‘Sometimes I feel so bad/Other times I’m so glad/I took out my Rickenbacker guitar’ he sighs on the title track, still dreaming of that slot on the Ed Sullivan Show.