Me First and the Gimme Gimmes – Take A Break – Review

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes

Take A Break (Fat)
by Ewan Wadharmi

Me First And The Gimmick Gimmicks don’t seem to know when a good joke has lost its humor. Like the Christopher Guest and Michael Mckean of pop-punk, with each project, the funny gets fewer and farther between. But I guess if you own a record label, people don’t often tell you when you’re making a bad move. Everyone gets a kick out of a false start to “Crazy Train” or “Stairway to Heaven” jumping into a raging slab of punk, but it’s surprising the band actually got through some of these, because I lost interest after a few choruses. Spike takes some of them a little too serious. “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” is pretty much a good karaoke version with rowdier music. “Hello” is done up with more fuzz than Lionel Ritchie’s upper lip, and has a great surprise ending. “End of the Road” has the same tight-ass harmonies and more speed, but it contains the same amount of cheese as All Four One recycling the country song “I Swear.”

“Ain’t No Sunshine” is easily the best song 0n the disc. Spike puts in a funny heavy-breathing bit and the band lights a fire under Bill Withers’ ass. Prince/Sinead’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” is just the sort of weak song deserving of beefing up. With this ska spin, it can still only be pumped enough to fit in the sappy Sublime catalog. Seal’s “Crazy” is unrecognizable, and thus stays funny longer than expected. And the odd vocal placement that attracted you to the original is that much more interesting. Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely” gets the Nashville Teens treatment, while Spike belts it out in his finest voice. The unforeseen speedup is brilliant, but I just ruined the surprise for you. There’s an unexpected ukulele intro to “I Believe I Can Fly” which, coupled with the increased velocity, nearly keeps your interest.. but not quite. “I’ll Be There” showcases Fat Mike’s bowel-clearing bass. This one far surpasses Mariah Carey’s cover and, Lord willing, will be inserted into various movies about high-school reunions.

The funniest cover here is the one on the front of the CD. Next time Fat Mike or Spike Slawson asks you, “You know what would be funny?” don’t be afraid to inform them if it’s not. It’s for their own good.
(PO Box 193690 San Francisco, CA 94119)