The Band (Fat)
by Tim Den
Talk about a band that never disappoints… Every time Randy put out a new album, it’s 100% guaranteed that you’re going to be blasting it for the rest of the year. Hell, I played You Can’t Keep a Good Band Down – my personal favorite – daily for a year and a half. These guys are that amazing. Everything is perfect: The chord progressions, the four-on-the-floor meaty beats that occasionally surprise you with tasteful time changes, the vocal phrasings that are tailor-made for singing along to, the flashy-when-needed/call-and-answer guitar work, and, of course, the heavenly hooks. Cuz it’s all good and nice when a band is a well-oiled machine in “performance” mode, but when a band’s pre-choruses and semi-bridges are catchier than the bird flu? C’mon, you’re just making every other band look bad! Seriously, I’m begging you, this shit is so good it’s making me embarrassed to listen to other music!
With every album, Randy temper their sound just a tad to keep things fresh (no mentioning of their beginnings as a thrashcore/semi-ska act, please). You Can’t Keep a Good Band Down is a marriage between Queen and The Hives, The Human Atom Bombs the melding of Little Richard and Green Day, and Welfare Problems is the combination of Ramones and Buzzcocks. Though I love all three full-lengths dearly, I’ve always pined for the band to return to the more bombastic/hooks-oriented nature of You Can’t Keep a Good Band Down. Well, they must’ve heard my prayers, cuz The Band is that album’s RIDICULOUS catchiness mixed into The Clash’s strutting mid-tempo stomps, peppered with guitar histrionics (opener “Punk Rock High”) and full-out New Bomb Turks moments (the circle pit-inducing “Teenage Tiger”). It focuses more on engraining itself into your head rather than “being punk” (such as Welfare Problems), and, in the process, becomes the band’s best album in years. Yes, even close to knocking out my fave. Every song is an anthem; every song is undeniable. Calling The Band “the perfect punk rock album” would be shortchanging its craftsmanship, but at the same time, there’s no better description. This is the best of what punk has to offer: Brains, humor, chops, balls, and HOOKS!!!
All shall hail Randy, even those who aren’t into punk rock. Cuz with songs this easily enjoyable, you’d be a damn fool if you didn’t.