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And here I thought the biggest news to come out of Memphis, Tenn., in 1977 was Elvis Presley kicking the bucket. But it turns out that while the King was quite literally giving up his throne, a quartet of shaggy Memphis teens called the Scruffs were whipping up a batch of the most delicious power pop this side of the Raspberries. With Eric Carmen sound-alike Stephen Burns providing the all-important link to that group of spiritual predecessors and lead guitarist Dave Branyan writing catchier-than-catchy riffs to rival those of his more polished contemporaries in Cheap Trick, why this aptly named outfit didn’t conquer AM radio remains a mystery. No matter: The point is that “Wanna’ Meet the Scruffs?” is your chance to right one of the great wrongs of rock ‘n’ roll history by buying the album and playing it continually for the next 25 years. Believe me, it’ll be the best atonement you’ve ever made, because even though this reissue of Burns & Co.’s overlooked debut long-player may not include any song as great as Cheap Trick’s “Surrender”—although “She Say Yea” comes close—it is, track for track, perhaps the most consistent testament to teenagerhood ever committed to vinyl. From opener “Break the Ice,” which features some delirious guitar runs, lots of “Aw yeah!”s, and even more “bebop-a-lu-wa!”s, the Scruffs pour their hearts out and the syrup on. “You’re No Fun” is the Stooges’ “No Fun” remade for kiddies who, when they heard the word “reds,” thought baseball team; what the chorus (“I want fun/I love fun/You’re no fun/You’re no fun!”) lacks in Iglike menace it more than makes up for in sheer adolescent whininess. “I’ve Got a Way” is up-tempo New Wave bluster—you can almost hear the band’s skinny ties flapping in the breeze produced by their natty four-part harmonies. “Tragedy” is so Raspberries it makes you want to weep, two minutes of hooks, hand claps, and McCartney-esque melody. As for “This Thursday,” well, it is without a doubt the greatest song about the fifth day of the week ever written: “It’s only half past late and everybody’s bored,” sings Burns, summing up the mind-set of teens everywhere and always. To which I can only say: Not if they have this to listen to. —Michael Little