The Weekly Jive

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Posted March 13, 2008 in Music

Crash Romeo—Gave Me The Clap (Trustkill)

Crash Romeo are the Mothman of pop-punk, their artistic flatlining surely signaling final disaster for this suffocatingly over-saturated genre. They’re the billionth band to take Blink 182’s sonic blueprint—a lo-cal, SoCal take on the melodo-punk of The Descendants, Bad Religion et al, with irritatingly whiny verses, over-sugared choruses, an emotionally-stunted girl/boy lyrics—and insist they’ve given it a new twist. Crash Romeo couldn’t spell “original,” and having producer Chris Badami make Gave Me The Clap sound just like his discography—basically The Starting Line and The Early November—only adds to the alarmingly production-line feel. Sure, Crash Romeo are competent—but so are Weird Al, The Wiggles and the fugging Roto-Rooter guy. Like Blink, the up-and-at-’em drumming is a highpoint, but that doesn’t change the fact that Crash Romeo’s creative ambition can’t extend beyond being on Warped Tour every summer and getting attention from tramp-stamped teens. (Paul Rogers)

 

The Tossers—Gloatin’ and Showboatin’ Live On St. Patrick’s Day (Victory Records)

The stripped down to the bare essentials simple nature of punk music lends itself well to be infused with all manner of traditional music. The Tossers, just as the Pogues, Dropkick Murphy’s and Flogging Molly have done, do it with Irish folk elements. Yet while these hybrids make companion music for a St. Paddy’s Day bender they’ve also traditionally ponied up a little more than straight Celtic punk, and their embellishments reach a little further. Formed in Chicago in the early 1990s, and no slouches when it comes to mandolins and banjos and gutter life, the latest live album, Gloatin’ And Showboatin’ Live On St. Patrick’s Day, is hardly a tosser. It’s a glimpse into the coolest St. Patrick’s Day show you never heard about—also included is a DVD of the show, in case you want to awkwardly stand in front of your TV with your friends and pretend you’re there—but the album inevitably falls into the same category as all live releases: Ho-Hum. If you’ve seen the Tossers live show, you might make the translation. But just as if you’ve never been to Mardi Gras or at the running of the bulls but have photos of them in hand, it leaves you a little underwhelmed. (Phil Fuller)

 

Charlatans UK—You Cross My Path (Cooking Vinyl)

Though oft seen as come-latelys to the wide-eyed “Madchester” sound when they appeared in 1990, Charlatans UK have gone on to carve out that rarest of contemporary career niches: an album band that, though hardly MTV material, consistently shift discs and fill theatres. You Cross My Path, like most Charlatans stuff, makes a lot more sense late at night—their street-level, druggy decadence; vaguely rave-y aftertaste; and Tim Burgess’ lonesome, slightly paranoid delivery well suited to 4am on the 101. This, their 10th studio full-length, sits somewhere in the middle of their career chart: the songcraft doesn’t measure up to their best (’01’s Wonderland) and stylistically they’re wandering, sometimes sounding like New Order acolytes. They’ll continue giving this album away for free on the website of Brit radio station XFM (www.XFM.co.uk) for the next couple of months: if you miss that shuffling Hacienda hedonism and don’t see Stone Roses reforming, what is there to lose? (Paul Rogers)


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