Ben Weasel Don’t Like It (Broken)
by Joshua Brown
Many fans of the genre missed out on this pop punk gem the first time around. The title song, previously only available on a 7″, is not quite up to “Liza and Louise” or “Stupid Over You” standards, but it’s pretty damn close. It blends the catchy pogo-ability of early Buzzcocks with blazing guitars that kick ass over any slickly produced pop punk record of this decade that you’d care to name. They have their own brand of sarcasm that one may have to be an avid MaximumRockNRoll reader to understand, but their message is not lost even if the humor is (“there’s a great big world beyond the scene,” so fucking get over yourselves!). After effectively ridiculing Ben Weasel and his ilk, No Empathy give Bad Religion a whopping forearm smash simply by covering one of their songs. Not just any Bad Religion song, mind you, but one taken from their embarrassing REO Speedwagon-esque Into the Unknown LP, an album that Bad Religion have effectively eliminated from their own discography (just try to find a mention of it in the mainstream press these days). The next three songs, which close out this EP, are competently rockin’ if not terribly memorable, a characteristic that plagues the majority of No Empathy’s output. If you don’t mind buying a CD on the strength of only two songs, then this one’s essential. Hopefully it’ll be specially priced.