Combine – The History of American Rock and Roll – Review


The History of American Rock and Roll (Caroline)
by Sheril Stanford

More big fun from Combine, the pride of VA, and the band that takes metal thrash, melts it down, then mixes in a hearty chunk of punk bedlam and delivers it all with sarcastic, snotty glee. Tight yet chaotic, this is nouveau punk like it oughta be; delightfully twisted, ear-splitting guitar noise, played at high speeds with brat attitude. Sure, there’s some pretty stuff in there, just to show they’re versatile, but you can skip over those. Buy this disc, it’ll stay in your player for days. These guys will be your new idols.

Packed with 17 spunky bits, The History of American Rock and Roll includes, among other offerings, a blatant, unapologetic rip-off of the Knack’s “My Sharona.” And hey, are you or were you ever a teenager? Did you ever go out on a Saturday night, drinkin’ and cruisin’ with the windows down and the music up? Congratulations, you qualify to write for Lollipop. Also, you’ll relate totally to the opening track on this disc, a classic spoken word piece called “Life, Death and Saturday Night”. This tune is followed up by “Know Regrets,” a speedy sonic assault marked by Mark Parfumi’s manic vocals, and it’s just as good, maybe better, than anything those other media-hyped, massively overexposed new punk brats have put out. “Superfriendlier” is dark, minor (as many of their tunes tend to be), and thick with bass, and not friendly at all. The frantic, hyperspeed clamor of “Attrition” makes you wish the song were longer, but then it wouldn’t be punk, would it? And the goofy “Richard in a Treestand” is two minutes of kickass bass and driving drums, one minute of single chord crunched up guitar and 30 seconds of raving lunatic lyrics.