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The Woggles: Garage Rock, Tough But Tight

It's no surprise that The Woggles' tough but tight garage classicism appeals to the ear of old-school rocker and radio host Little Steven Van Zandt, who released Rock and Roll Backlash on his own Wicked Cool label. Having survived the '60s, Van Zandt knows how well The Woggles' members nail the sound of the Nuggets era. The band's singer, Professor Mighty Manfred, possesses the power and tunefulness of one of those obscure garage-band vocalists who, not sure they were ever getting another chance to record, poured their guts out on the first take. Meanwhile, the band gallops behind him with rousing backup vocals, sizzling Farfisa and buzzing guitars.

There's a bit of cognitive dissonance upon first listen to "Time of My Own." On one hand, the dedicated re-creation sounds like someone else's time. But the words of freedom and hope — "Smoke-filled skylines / City comes alive / Dreams spark to life before my eyes — and the unhinged scream Manfred lets out right before the coda make it clear that the band is deciding on its own timeline. If it involves the Music Machine and not MGMT, it's their call and not yours. Bless 'em for it.

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Cecile Cloutier