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BOOM CRASH OPERA (Buy CDs by this artist)
Boom Crash Opera (Warner Bros.) 1987
These Here Are Crazy Times (Giant) 1990

On Boom Crash Opera's debut album, the Melbourne, Australia quintet plays heavy drum-driven dance-oriented rock much in the manner of INXS, but with just enough angst and bombast to live up to their name.

Wide-screen sound characterizes the crisply produced (in part by Jimmy Iovine) Crazy Times, even though many of the numbers are pushed by acoustic guitars. There's a dash of U2's spiritualism here and the Alarm's romanticism there (especially on the anthemic "Dancing in the Storm"), a couple of bright big-beat dance-rock numbers, even a Zeppelin-style riff or two thrown in for good measure. Not a bad record, but the band has yet to establish a vision of its own.

[Dave Schulps]