Double Review: Now You See Inside by SR-71
This is an album that I purchased around 2004 or 2005 when I was pretty into the pop-punk scene (think Amber Pacific, Blink 182, Unwritten Law, etc.). I'm pretty sure I got turned onto this group through some sort of music discovery tool like TuneGlue. Burned a copy of this one from iTunes this week and I've been pleasantly reminiscing.
These guys have their own sound that to these ears, is a mash of Good Charlotte, Wilco, and Spin Doctors. Even though most of the album's songs have a very polished punk-pop sound, the song-writing is surprisingly good, not to mention some pretty solid harmonizing going on. Check out "What a Mess" and "Fame" to see what I mean. They've also got a soft side that gets away from the disgustingly sappy "ballads" that we've come to get from Blink and Green Day. "Alive" is a good one that strikes a nice balance between songwriting quality, pop sound, and radio-friendly pacing. My favorite tune from the album is the first one, "Politically Correct." High energy, wordplay, and just a dash of teenage angst. What more could you want?
Overall this is a surprisingly good album from a group that mostly flew under the radar when they were on the scene.
Throwing the Game by Lucky Boys Confusion
Lucky Boys and I had a love/hate relationship back in the day. This is one I got around the same time as the SR-71 album. These guys definitely have a little more ska in their sound, but they still can lay down some blast beats and poppy guitar riffs. Compared to SR-71, LBC is a little more aggressive in sound, but certainly not a hard rock outfit. The opening track, "Breaking Rules" makes you think that you're in for another Good Charlotte wanna-be ride, but the one-drop breakdown in during the bridge lets you know that these guys are a little different. Another great ska-spiced tune is "Bossman." This one was my jam for many weeks. Chill verse; in-your-face chorus. Boom. Plus the music video is pretty great. Have a look:
Other standouts from this disc include "Fred Astaire" (great song!) and "One to the Right" (SOAD-esque? you decide).
Bottom line: if you can dig on groups like Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Streetlight Manifesto, or Less Than Jake, you'll like LBC. Also, if you're a 17-year old boy who likes to dance, but can't really...
Give these albums a listen people!