The Vandals – Look What I Almost Stepped In… – CD

The Vandals – Look What I Almost Stepped In… – CD
(Nitro Records) What a great Pop Punk band and what a great album! I’m thoroughly impressed and laughing my ass off! All this coming from a guy who, more often than not, is required to review scads of Pop Punk records and frankly is getting bored with the overwhelming volume of that sort of music. It’s weird; I discovered The Vandals years ago, and thought they were great (most people have come to that same conclusion). In their early days, they seemed to have that irreverent Jello Biafra / Dead Kennedy’s kinda thing going, and seeing their performance in one of my all-time favorite cult classic films: Suburbia, added to their Punk icon status. Over the years since then, things have changed and members have changed. They don’t sound ANYTHING like they did back then, but that doesn’t mean they suck. Hell no! On the contrary, they have reformulated their sound and changed with the times. They have become a fantastic and funny new breed of the old school. It might seem that they should take on a new name, but with a name, which has such weight and credibility, why fuck up a good thing?! I got a kick out of the cover artwork and how it relates to the title. It’s a classic 50s style cartoon illustration of a matador holding up a pile of bull shit while the bull stands on his hind legs glaring at the man in humiliation. The songs themselves are one chuckle after another, and I honestly couldn’t find a song I don’t like. The first track, “Behind The Music”, is an insider’s look at the music industry with all of its petty annoyances and disappointments. Here’s an excerpt from the lyrics: “So we’ve got a couple stations, we’re in medium rotation, but the PD isn’t sure if the single’s gonna work, cuz he’s gotta play the Cure and the Psychedelic Turds, for the 80s flashback weekend”, and it ends with, “You can kiss my ass!”. The second song is poignantly addressed to all of the young fuck-ups who’ve taken their parent’s money and care for granted and wasted their college educations. Then there’s a brief series of songs pertaining to the humorous side of difficult love relationships, including “Jackass” which starts out sounding like a Blink 182 hit single. This cut seems to be about dating a girl in a band who no longer has time for the relationship. “Kick It (You’re Not The Boss Of Me)”, another one about relationships, has a catchy chorus: “Do you wanna kick it with me? I wanna kick it with you”, and has a great little keyboard flourish reminiscent of old Cars songs. Then it’s followed by the harsh reply song: “I’m The Boss Of Me”. The next track begins with a salute to The Beach Boys’ classic “Good Vibrations”, and hilariously discusses the constant dilemma of having an obnoxious girlfriend who can’t act decently in public. “Get A Room” is about disgusting public displays of affection, hence the title. I could go on and on about this Pop Punk masterpiece, but why don’t you hear what I’m ranting and raving about for yourself? – {Tom CoreKill}
(2001)

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