I Stole Your Animal

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Any band’s debut album is bound to have some kinks. And while some people might see a trio of pre-teen punk rockers as more of a fad than a true blue rock band, that’s certainly not one of the problems on this record.

Given their youth and comfortable surroundings, it’s hard to see where the trio can channel any discontented punk ire from. But with a sound like they were weaned on the Pixies instead of Raffi, the Care Bears on Fire got creative.

“I Stole Your Animal,” the band’s first album, was produced by Joel Hamilton, who previously twisted the knobs for Tom Waits, Elvis Costello and Frank Black, and has the polish of an honest-to-goodness chart-topper.

The wistful lament, “I Met You on Myspace,” is probably the only ode to the site that doesn’t sound creepy and the ranting “Everybody Else” is a typical teenage non-conformity song, about two steps away from angsty poetry; so not that different at all from the mopey grunge hits of the late 1990s.

The dalliances with Ramones-style punk clearly show that Care Bears’ fire comes from burning up their parents’ ’70s records — but it’s also comforting to know that the influence for these artfully manicured moppets (with their Iggy Pop hair) isn’t Blink 182 or some other juvenile Warped Tour bill filler.

All in all, this probably won’t guarantee them seats at the cool lunch table, since their classmates would be more impressed if they were produced by Timbaland or Scott Storch. Perhaps this is the burden of being too cool too soon.

“I Stole Your Animal,” which will be released on Oct. 2, will be available at">

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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