Angus Soundtrack – Review


Soundtrack (Reprise)
by Scott Hefflon

I feel so, I don’t know, target-marketed. It’s as if someone asked me what my favorite punk/pop/dumb rock bands were, chose a song apiece, and slapped ’em on a compilation. The movie could, and probably does, suck – but the soundtrack is a must-get. It’ll sell a shitload anyway, but allow me to froth a bit.

Green Day kick out “J.A.R.,” and it’s Green Day. I don’t think they could write a flop if they tried. Bleat praises to them, grudgingly dig them, whatever – it’s hard not to be seduced by them. Ash get two tracks, “Jack Names the Planets” and “Kung Fu,” but that happens when the label that releases the comp is also pushing said band’s new release. As the latest hot band, Ash pumps out addictive, noisy punkpop radio hits. They have loud, catchy guitar, massive bass rumbling, and inane lyrics. Dumb rock at its finest.

Dance Hall Crashers have “Enough” to bring them into the public eye. For those not familiar with the gorgeous dueling vocalists set to ska/punk; this is a band to check out. While many mourn the loss of horns, having a stronger focus on indie rock/punk rock styles recently, D.H.C. can do no wrong in these eyes. Riverdales (not the Riverdales) saunter in with an extremely Ramones-esque “Back To You.” They don’t thrill me, but if they can release 10-15 albums of three-chord rock with amazing nonchalant vocals (that’s a nice way of saying apathetic), perhaps they can further the Ramones legacy. A beautiful and simple guitar solo, but give me old Screeching Weasel any day.

Smoking Popes contribute “Mrs. You and Me,” one of my least favorite songs by this band. Granted, the singer sounds like Morrissey, but the acoustic, formulaic rock format annoys me to no end. Yup, it’s Weezer. They haven’t been on the cover of anything recently (meaning, this week), but I’d imagine that’s going to change now. The song’s lyrics begin with the title, “You Gave Your Love Me Softly” which makes one wonder which came first, the lyric or the… never mind. Under two minutes of la-la lyrics and warm, fuzzy guitars that, well, that make you feel good. Sure, it’s a complete no-brainer, but it’s a lotta fun.

Goo Goo Dolls give us “Ain’t That Unusual,” and it sounds like everything else they’ve ever done, so it ain’t. I lost ’em years ago when they went college rock, but if you like their style, here’s more of it. The Muffs. That’s all I need to say. Buy, steal, or borrow and never return everything they’ve ever done. Not the best song by them (sounds like those schlock ballads from Joan Jett’s heyday), but “Funny Face” is still very cool. Tilt perform “White Homes,” but could cover Jimmy Buffet songs and they’d still rock. Once called a punk version of The Mamas and the Papas… I don’t fully agree, but I find the concept intriguing. Tilt waste no time launching right into the song and soaking every moment with beautifully strong female vocals and non-stop raunchy guitar.

Pansy Division are queer and punker than you’ll ever be, so get over yourself. (Thanks, J.B.) Mostly acoustic strumming and driving drums, “Deep Water” rocks hard for such a simple tune. Love Spit Love give us one of those moving, overly dramatic orchestrations that takes “Am I Wrong” to the limit of anthemic cheese, and then goes well beyond it. It’s one of those songs that you kinda groove on, get hooked onto, and as it swells and crescendos, you find yourself standing on your feet, waving flags with a big doofus grin on your face, swaying and cheering like a complete dork along with the rest of the crowd. A majestic finale to a great compilation.