The Pretenders – Break Up The Concrete / The Best Of (8/10)


With its manic rockabilly stomp, lead single and album opener Boots of Chinese Plastic announces loud and clear that at the tender age of 57, Chrissie Hynde shows no sign of letting up. The gaps between albums might grow longer (seven years since the last), but take that as a commitment to quality, rather than any lack of energy.

While Don’t Cut Your Hair and the Bo Diddley-shuffling title track betray the band’s edgy new wave roots, most of the album is given over to sultry blues-country, Hynde sounding for all the world like Lucinda Williams. Comes packaged with a Best Of compilation too, in true recession-busting style.