- Released: February 7, 2005
- Label: Universal I.S.
Uncut - p.1164 stars out of 5
- "[B]oasting Geldof's most finely tuned lyrics and their best tunes."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1143 stars out of 5
- "Full of smart, acerbic, punky pop sounds..."
- 1.Like Clockwork
- 2.Blind Date
- 3.I Never Loved Eva Braun
- 4.Living In An Island
- 5.Don't Believe What You Read
- 6.She's So Modern
- 7.Me & Howard Hughes
- 8.Can't Stop
- 9.Watch Out For The Normal People
- 10.Rat Trap
- 11.Neon Heart (John Peel Session) - (bonus track)
- 12.Do The Rat - (bonus track, B side)
- 13.D.U.N. L.A.O.G.H.A.I.R.E. - (bonus track, B side)
- 14.Rat Trap (Live In Stoke) - (bonus track)
The Boomtown Rats: Bob Geldof (vocals); Gerry Cott, Garry Roberts (guitar); Johnnie Fingers (keyboards); Pete Briquette (bass guitar); Simon Crowe (drums).
Audio Remasterer: Jon Astley.
Liner Note Author: Allan Jones .
Directors: Pete Briquette; Bob Geldof.
Photographer: Chalkie Davies.
A TONIC FOR THE TROOPS, the Boomtown Rats' second album, finds the Irish group furthering their mix of punk energy and pop hooks. While "Like Clockwork" and "Living on an Island" recall XTC in both their angular attack and quirky delivery, "She's So Modern" is an intentionally brash, straight-ahead rock tune. Other songs, however, allow frontman Bob Geldof to hone his lyrical talents, particularly the wry, incisive Nazi narrative "I Never Loved Eva Braun," "Me & Howard Hughes," a nod to eccentrics everywhere, and the street anthem "Rat Trap," which unabashedly channels Springsteen. Like many of their peers (Elvis Costello & the Attractions, the Clash, etc.), the Boomtown Rats were intent on channeling punk's momentum into different styles and more sophisticated song structures, and although the ensemble never achieved widespread success in the US, the record produced several hit singles in the UK, including the latter tune. And its finest, A TONIC FOR THE TROOPS is a prime example of punk rock's restlessly inventive spirit and its often overlooked "pop" power.