Jon Cougar Concentration Camp – Melon – Review

Jon Cougar Concentration Camp

Melon (BYO)
by Scott Hefflon

Jon Cougar Concentration Camp. It’s a name you hear once, you do a double-take, ask if you just heard correctly, and then you never forget. And, for a change, you won’t be let down once you hear the band behind the name. JCCC has been making ripples in the mucky punk pond for some time, releasing a shitload of 7″s (eight in three years qualifies as a shitload, right?), and a few minorly celebrated full-lengths. But this album and its supporting tour should achieve them household word-dom. That is if BYO works the album outside of the elitist punk rock circle jerk who already know and love JCCC, if Chris Fields and Dave Swain can hold a drummer, and if they tour in support of their own band instead of The Queers. Sure, listing “ex-touring band for Joe Queer” looks swell on your resumé, but these boys need to do what’s right for them.

JCCC have a gruff-voiced, tongue-in-butt-cheek meanness, much like Screeching Weasel did in their heyday. And since SW hasn’t been up to snuff in years, it’s about time someone took over as the under-produced, stripped-down, straight-ahead punk rawk name to know. Songs like “My Favorite Show is 90210,” “Punk Rock Gives Me The Shitz,” and “You Either Got It Or You Don’t” are modern-day classics, and plenty of others will have you wishing Melon came with lyric sheets.

“My Favorite Place” may be the closest thing to SW’s “Hey Suburbia” in years, musically and lyrically, and while it’s exclusively pro-West Coast, it’s still a song to grow up on. “I Ain’t The One” probably has the most singable melody, but luckily the happy-go-fuck-yourself sentiments and cracked notes make this far from arena rock radio fodder. Closing Melon is “You Either Got It Or You Don’t,” an anthem that doesn’t sound like one. Simple and to the point, it’s a song you can listen to daily without getting sick of.
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