The Humpers seem to be cursed by lyric sheets. If an album of theirs doesn’t include one, it’s sure to be a winner. Plastique Valentine does have a lyric sheet, so I didn’t start enjoying the album until I threw the thing out. No longer having to follow the bouncing ball, I was able to fully appreciate Sally Browder’s production. This is Browder’s second time out with the Humpers, and once again she’s done a remarkable job of capturing the band’s live fury in the studio. On Plastique Valentine all the Humpers’ hallmarks are in place: the influences (Iggy, Thunders, Dead Boys), the guitars (they’ve got an ace crunch and short, spicy solos), and the interaction between band members (it’s totally tight). That’s not to say everything is okey-doke. Like a driver falling asleep at the wheel, singer Scott “Deluxe” Drake occasionally veers toward monotony with his delivery (see “For Lovers Only”). Fortunately these instances usually last but a few seconds before Drake is jolted awake into his firebrand spouting. On “With a Whip” he rails once again at the bored generation but inadvertently reveals one of his own shortcomings when he shouts, “I’ve got nothing more to say.” On the other hand, that might not be so bad. After all, the Humpers aren’t a band we turn to for insight or innovation. Their only vow is to serve up gutbucket R&R, and on that promise they make good.—Chris Nelson