Yeah, yeah, we all know that everyone can't be an original. Still, understanding this truism doesn't make blatantly imitative acts like Wilmington, California's Left Alone any more admirable. The Elvis Cortez-led band, which shares tonight's bill with the Black Rose Phantoms, has been around since 1996 — long enough to have developed something akin to a personal style. Nevertheless, 2006's Dead American Radio, on the Hellcat Records imprint, sports nary a fresh moment, with every tune drawing directly from punk and ska precursors — even secondhand ones like Rancid, whose Tim Armstrong guests on "City to City." Granted, the performances are consistently energetic, albeit in a wholly predictable way, and tunes such as "The Sinner," "Drunk Again" and "New York City" would no doubt sound adequate under the influence of, say, a couple twelve-packs of Old Milwaukee. But if these guys ever have a new idea, it'll soon feel Left Alone.
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