...Is A Real Boy
Already having played a headline string of UK dates back in September, this California sextet refused to be the next Blink 182, shunning major label interest to sign up with Red Ink. Influences listed by singer Max Bemis include Queen, Saves The Day and Faith No More.
The best thing that be said about this group is that they are not just another American punk-rock band, far from it in fact. While they do knock out a few catchy riffs, which is how "Belt" begins the record, there are few anthems to sing or jump along to. Bemis doesn't so much as sing as speak and rant over the tracks and he comes across as a man with a chip on his shoulder. "The Futile" finds him asking, "What do old people teach us but how to die?" which might be funny to a prepubescent, but comes across as immature. The music even takes up a childish sound on "Every Man Has A Molly", while "Spidersong" has is pure rubbish.
Easily the best track is "Alive With The Glory Of Love", featuring a jolly guitar part that The Kooks wouldn't be ashamed to use, making the song much more fun than the majority of the album. Also deserving of a mention is "Admit It!!!" which takes on a pop tone that is nearly spoiled by the sneering chorus. It still manages to provide slight relief from what is generally a terribly poor offering.