The Vandals – Internet Dating Superstuds – Review

The Vandals

Internet Dating Superstuds (Kung Fu)
by Scott Hefflon

Wow, The Vandals really kicked into gear, huh? In ’94, the gloryday of punk’s second coming (or was that punk’s gloryhole? Its goryday?), The Vandals kicked ass with Live Fast Diarrhea, an accidentally killer record they couldn’t seem to match with subsequent tries (it was going around), but Look What I Almost Stepped In was their most consistent in years, and Internet Dating Super-Studs continues that fine tradition. The Vandals, like NOFX and a few other top-notch secondwave punk bands who started when no one gave a shit, weathered the heyday, and still blast away at “jokey” manic punk now that the “the kids” have moved on to, like, emo’n’shit, just keep getting better. Frighteningly so.

Each member is so good on their instrument, and they’ve written so many songs and fine-tuned the craft, it’s barely even “punk” anymore. At least in the sloppy, vibrant, knee-jerk direct social howl that most of us idealistically like to think of (mostly nostalgically) as “punk.” And the production? Sweet Jesus and Mary Wallet Chain! Between intentionally throwing a monkey wrench into the song structure, just to goose you, saying nyah-nyah while doing so, the production is so crisp and clean, you almost think you’re listening to a Bon Jovi arena-rock album or something (Warren’s soaring guitarwork doesn’t help), but then you catch Quackenbush’s sweet nasal voice slip in some quirky phrase JBJ’d never utter, and you realize nose-thumbing punkpop has simply entered a whole new phase. Stellar musicianship and playful lyrics (imagine Mickey Mouse running around a house party in a thong and cowboy boots, coked to the gills, telling dirty jokes and coaxing girls to lift their shirts, cracking everyone up along the way) make Internet Dating Super-Studs yet another fine addition to The Vandals’ legacy.
(PO Box 38009 Hollywood, CA 90038)