Oingo Boingo, Nothing To Fear

In retrospect, Only A Lad's frenetic energy level was probably unsustainable. Although the manic funk headbanger "Insects" is every bit as crazy as you'd hope, and the oddly sweet "Wild Sex (In The Working Class)" may be more laidback but no less exuberant, the rest of the album perplexingly doesn't quite reach those heights. "Nothing To Fear (But Fear Itself)" does have some of the same old transgressive zip and "Reptiles and Samurai" is inexplicable but fun, but then there's the (ironically) brainless "Grey Matter," the (likewise) sluggish "Running On A Treadmill," and the disagreeably preachy "Why'd We Come" which squares badly with the group's then-dominant nihilism. The remainder (particularly "Private Life") are solid, and largely even good, but not anywhere near as punchy. You'll still get a mostly decent album, but if you were looking for another refreshing slap in the face you won't get it here. (Content: adult themes on "Wild Sex" and "Nothing To Fear.")