Recently I was looking for that song again and pulled out the CD. I looked at what else is on there for the first time and now I can’t get almost the entire CD out of my head. The bands on the CD are:
Dance Hall Crashers
Goo Goo Dolls
Love Spit Love
What an amazing lineup. The CD sounds like a mix cd I might put together on one of my best days. The only bands I’d never heard of were Smoking Popes and Tilt. Tilt is really the only disappointment on the CD as their lyrics are strained, the vocals are sub-par and the song never really finds its stride, but even then it is still listenable.
Green Day started me thinking about how some people say certain bands aren’t really punk or are sellouts. Most of the time, this is crap. Why is a band a sellout just for signing with a major label or for actually mixing the album in the studio. If the band had made a point about never ever doing one of those things, then fine, but as long as they don’t compromise the topics or sound of their music to placate the big label they aren’t sellouts! And as for Green Day not being a real punk band, just listen to them. They are punk, punk tempo, punk lyrics, punk sound. The people that deride them are the same ones that claim bands sell out.
Ash I’d only heard of (not realizing they did the Jackie Chan song) but I have to say the two songs they do on this album Kung Fu and Jack Names the Planets are really great songs. I need to go look for their albums, if they have any.
Dance Hall Crashers is a nice female ska band that never seems to go for the edge I want them to have. The have great potential and make some really good songs, but never go for a great one. They end up sounding the same all too often.
The Riverdales I discovered (for myself of course, they knew where they were) at a show at Maxwell’s in Hoboken. They were the middle band between the bizarre show put on by Boris the Sprinkler and the reason we went to the show in the first place The Mr. T Experience. Perhaps I’ll describe the whole show some other time, suffice it to say that The Riverdales are what you go for when The Ramones aren’t around. The Riverdales desperately want to be the Ramones and come about as close as you can without actually being them.
Smoking Popes do a song called Mrs. You and Me which sounds like a good They Might Be Giants song. Fun lyrics, catchy melody, I may need to find other music by them as well.
Weezer, damn them, did You Gave Your Love to Me Softly and more than any other song on this album I cannot get this one out of my head. Driving around singing this, at times tearing up to some of the lyrics, damn them and their stupid punk rock love songs.
Goo Goo Dolls do their usual solid but uninspiring job on Ain’t That Unusual. Their reputation exceeds them.
The Muffs I tend to give more credit than they deserve. Perhaps it is because they are so much fun live. I saw them open for the Goo Goo Dolls at the Stone Pony and really wish I’d gone home right after their set as I can’t remember much about the Goo Goo Dolls set except that I was bored. The Muffs however were so good we saw them again the next night at Maxwell’s.
Pansy Division, the gay punk band. Always fun, always good. I have a few of their albums on vinyl and should really transfer to cd. Once again they don’t disappoint here.
Love Spit Love is one of those bands I always forget about even though I shouldn’t. Listening to Am I Wrong I always end up thinking two things: “Hey, I know this song” and “This guy sounds just like the guy from the Psychedelic Furs.” There’s a reason for that, he is. Richard Butler is the singer for both.
I was inspired to write this little review mostly because I was thinking about what I wrote on Green Day above while driving today and thought the whole CD really deserves to have some nice things said about it. Thanks for bearing with the length of this post!