Crowning Glory

Albums that serve up a concoction of musical styles often leave listeners blindly searching for a harmonious sound to grasp onto as they're yanked from one genre to another. The Amazing Crowns' new album, Royal, skirts this pitfall by blending '50s rockabilly and punk in a way that makes the old sound new and vice versa.

Specifically, the Providence, R.I., quartet stirs up Buddy Holly–style guitar riffs, snapping punk drumbeats and backup vocals in the vein of SoCal punkers Pennywise. The resulting product is a revved-up, happy-go-lucky album that conjures long-lost memories of summertime beer drinking and back-road cruising in a '57 Chevy.

Catchy, melodic songs like "Halos & Horns" and "Invitation to Alienation" prove that these greasy hellcats can combine '50s rock, punk and country into an energetic, danceable sound all their own.

The galloping beat of "Still Royal" seems to hint humorously at Royal Crown Revue's 1998 lawsuit against the Amazing Crowns (who used to be the Amazing Royal Crowns) over the similarity of their names. The suit left the Amazing Crowns dethroned — perhaps legally — but they're "Still loyal to the royal" with this genuinely rockin' collection of greasy punkabilly tunes.