If you were at the 9:30 club last night you might have confused 1983 for 1966. The Chesterfield Kings--perfect anachronisms in their Beatle boots, pageboy haircuts, paisley and stripes--set out to revive the primitive crunch of that era. Their sneering vocals, wailing harp, cheesy organ and fuzz guitar provided as accurate a musical evocation of the teen angst of the mid-'60s as you can get.
For the most part, the audience seemed more than willing to shriek, bop and pretend they were back at the teen club or frat house. Despite the earnestness of their efforts, the band's nostalgic accuracy raised the issue of whether rock can stand too many time warps of this sort without becoming totally moribund. On the other hand, where else are you going to hear a cover of an obscure piece of psychedelic trash like the Moving Sidewalk's "99th Floor?"
A more convincing case for musical deterioration was provided by the opening act, Tru Fax and the Insaniacs. While the psychedelic Insaniacs droned and thrashed, lead singer Diana Quinn managed to convincingly declaim the facts of contemporary existence. She posed the musical question "Why Must I Be A Teen-ager in Love?" and made it seem a poignant enough dilemma.