Straight Up Reviews


The Resistors

One Nation

(self released)

The Resistors continue to surprise me.  At first I was impressed that some dudes in their mid-40s decided to “get the gang back together” and make a punk album.  That novelty lasted for about 2 tracks into their debut album Damaged, Ugly, & Loud.  With One Nation, the Columbus, IN outfit decide not to rest on their ancient laurels and throws us a few curve balls.  Those curve balls aren’t always strikes but I respect the effort.  Classic punk tracks like “Print More Money” and “I Hate You” are fun romps in the vein of pre-Rollins Black Flag, and they even throw in a very fitting Zero Boys cover, “Living In The 80s.”  Throughout the disc, the bands attempts some rock’n’roll, and they hit close to the mark on “Give It Up,” but the rest of the mid-tempo rock leaves a bit to be desired.  “Atomic Punk” is a an experiment of sorts, with some feedback in stereo, snarly vocals, cheesy metal riffs, and the inevitable Resistors guitar wank.  “Debbie (Turn Out The Lights)” is a charming but crude (and catchy) acoustic punk love song.  The title track, with a poppy chord progression and mile-a-minute vocals offers us the next in a long line of Resistors chants, “Stand up / fight back / one nation / UNDER PUNK!”  End result: Pretty much anytime the band keeps it under two minutes the results are successful – possibly even the best stuff they’ve done to date.

The New 45

I Think You’re Neat

(self-released)

Oh my.  At this point in my life, and after a long (though still ongoing) love affair with pop punk, I secretly wish this album is a joke.  Or at least a wink and nod in the direction of those that know what pure/traditional pop punk is all about.  In no particular order this album references girls (natch), monsters, the loser/outcast guy, a dream girl, a minimum wage job, a zombie girl, Screeching Weasel, and of course, another girl (whose name is, wait for it… “Candice Bubblegum”).   When it comes to pop punk songwriting stereotypes, these dudes just hit for the cycle.  The music matches suit – falling somewhere the poppy Ramones and the snotty Riverdales.  All of it is fairly well executed, and it seems like they almost have a hit with “Candice Bubblegum” or “Weekend At Bernie’s,” but there’s definitely something lacking, whether it be a stronger melody or a tighter harmony, that leaves this band still riding the bench.

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