Essentially, this is The Go-Go's on Green Day.
Three fast-riffing, hard drumming guys back up former Go-Go and sometime solo artist Jane Wiedlin for a fast, furious romp through alternative pop rock. Wiedlin proves on "Dis-Integrated," (co-written with Go-Go Charlotte Caffey) "Call Me Crazy" and "Cold" that she hasn't lost her sing-song, head-nodding way with a hook. Wieldlin's raspy, girlish vocals initially sound a bit out of place atop the guitar grind going on around her, but after a listen or two, the whole thing gels to an agreeable, sometimes exciting collection of 13 poppy, punky tunes. "Amerinoid" revels in distortion and wordplay, and "Homeless" (as in "my heart is...") displays Wiedlin's trademark schmaltzy side.
The best songs are stacked in the beginning of Cold, so by the album's end, it seems as if Wiedlin has concentrated too hard on updating to a "modern rock" sound and too little on crafting enough perfectly catchy songs to go along with it. For example, "My Boyfriend" tells the story of a girl who discovers her "boyfriend was a teenage hustler" but the revelation just isn't very shocking and the song has absolutely no redeeming melody to accompany it. "Never" is one of those cliched "I would never write a song about you" songs that, of course, does exactly what it says it won't. And "Shoulder the Sky" is a ponderous, slow piece of distortion and dramatic drums that goes nowhere...slowly.
But any missteps are forgiven when one of the band members, during the album's closing extended jam, calls out "Jane, stop this crazy thing..." A "Jetsons" reference on an album that includes the most talented Go-Go and a photo of her and her band dressed up in Star Trek uniforms. You've just got to smile and think, "thank God the Go-Go's didn't all fade with the `80s."