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The Numb Ones

The Numb Ones make music that's brazenly unnecessary: cornball, big-haired, '80s-rock retread played by hipster, greasy-haired, '80s-rock acolytes. But believe it or not, the whole unsubtle, steamroller package is not such a bad thing. See, necessity might be the mother of invention, but it's no relation to good times. And judging by the raucous, dopey hooks and depleted-brain-cell chants that echo all over Everything in Between, good times are what the Numb Ones do best. Gauge your affinity for these Broward bad boys by your tolerance for pristinely produced, testosterone-guzzling, made-for-radio rock.

The fact that Cleopatra Records, the L.A. label that's home to the Genitorturers, Switchblade Symphony, and Gary Numan, has loosed the Numb Ones' debut is fitting. There's an obvious, sun-bleached, SoCal-to-SoFla convergence here, found between the low-grit grunge of the title track, the beer commercial bluster of "So Sincere," and of course the revved-up, shred-happy redux of the Cars' "Just What I Needed." Apparently the boys took a detour to Boston as well; their "Space and Time" is lovingly cut from the same feel-good template as "More Than a Feeling," down to the major chord changes and tender, tough-guy lyrics. Vocalist/bassist Russ Rogers has the requisite unremarkable-yet-able throat to hit all the right heart notes while also remaining detached enough to keep cool, like on the acoustic coda of "Pure." The sticker affixed to the shrink wrap reads A must for fans of Foo Fighters, Velvet Revolver and melodic rock with an edge. Well. Velvet Revolver can get away with mid-'80s throwbackism — Slash and Duff made the decade the mindless, momentous bong rip that it was. Younger bands plying the same waters I indulge less. Still, the Numb Ones do it well, and it's easy to imagine South Florida's more schlock-rocking fans falling hard for these guys. Somebody's gotta be the Pied Piper of the Slayer-throwing set. In that sense, maybe the Numb Ones are necessary after all.

The Numb Ones celebrate the release of Everything in Between, along with Icon, Splint, and Soulicide, at 10 p.m. Friday, November 4, at the Legends Theater at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood. Tickets cost $10. Call 954 792-7777.

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Jonathan Zwickel

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