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The Blasters: Hardline (Slash/Warner Bros)

Don Snowden, Los Angeles Times, 26 January 1985

THE BLASTERS FACE a perennial battle in balancing their allegiance to roots forms of American music with the ever present danger of becoming predictable purists going through the I-IV-V motions. Their first two Slash albums won the war via Dave Alvin's superior songwriting and a common denominator of relaxed yet hard-swinging grooves. Slimmed down to a quintet line-up again and shorn of R&B horn shadings, Hardline is a scattershot, inconsistent album focusing on the individual components that make up the Blasters' American music.

Total word count of piece: 296