20/20/Look Out! is a most welcome reissue of the first two releases by these Los Angeles (by way of Tulsa, Oklahoma) power pop purveyors. The 20/20 LP stands proudly as one of the genre’s best (and most unique sounding, thanks to Earle Mankey’s imaginative production trickery), with scads of tuneful songs from singer/guitarist Steve Allen and singer/bassist Ron Flynt. Look Out! doesn’t quite reach the heights of the debut, but nevertheless has three or four songs (especially the big-beat “Nuclear Boy”) that remain solid examples of decade-turning skinny-tie rock.
Shortly after the twofer reissue of those two albums, 20/20 released its first new music in over a decade. 4 Day Tornado (named for its brief recording schedule) sounds completely different from the 20/20 of old. True to their pop roots but less British-sounding than on past efforts, Flynt and Allen (along with new drummer Bill Belknap) offer the mesmerizing, atmospheric “Watching the Headlights Burn” and the propulsive “Nothing at All.” There’s life in these (not so) old boys yet.