In college in 1980 I owned the vinyl of this record. A self-styled connoisseur from New York (where else) of my acquaintance lived and died by the Village Voice reviews of Robert Christgau. His contempt for southerners was typical of his provincial ilk, predisposed to think anyone not from Manhattan was from nowhere.
It is difficult to over emphasize the influence of Christgau during this time, and his Consumers Guide was, along with old Cream magazines, the only publications that anyone who listened to rock and roll and went to a good college could respectably cite. In his first edition, Christgau gave only two "A" ratings for the over 1,200 records he reviewed. The memory of humiliating this pretentious ass by being able to cite Christgau's "A minus" review for "Wanna Meet the Scruffs?" comforts me to this day.
"Only a sucker for rock and roll could love this record," wrote Christgau, "and I am that sucker."
Of this album, I agree with Christgau's assessment that it is "A middle-period Beatles extrapolation in the manner of Big Star (another out-of-step Memphis power-pop group on a small, out-of-step Memphis label), it bursts with off harmonies, left hooks, and jolts of random energy." Yet I reject Christgau's difficulty reconciling himself to the adolescent dimension of the pop tunes subject matter. "The trouble is, these serve a shamelessly and perhaps permanently post-adolescent vision of life's pain, most of which would appear to involve gurls." But I of course embrace Chritgau's resolution "....To which objection the rockin' formalist in me responds, "I wanna hear 'Revenge' again.""