Monday, 9 May 2011

The Reaganomics - Lower the Bar

The first line of this album is "WELL I DON'T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT YOUR BAND!" which sets the tone fairly comprehensively.

This is a punk rock album for people who are into punk rock for the hate, not the sort of painful damaging morally void hate of post-All Skrewed Up Skrewdriver, but the petty but very real sense of outrage and irrationally intense loathing that springs from what really should be a minor annoyance that, instead of just dismissing and forgetting as stupid, you allow to fester and grow into an unfathomably important all-consuming despair at how anyone in the world can live their life like that. The Reaganomics just write fun arsehole songs about how everyone and everything sucks, eviscerating trend-followers, the faux-Irish, Ed Hardy wearers, critics, yuppies, other punk bands with equal relish. There are a few positive numbers that are conducted with the same sense of glee as the sophomoric diss tracks, but while you get brief happy moments when The Reaganomics really want to party with Robocop or visit the Renaissance Fair, you're soon back to learning that they don't want to end up at a bar with someone they don't like, they don't want to go work, they don't want to go to school, they don't want to read your blog (so I really could say what the fuck I want here with absolutely no chance of retribution).

The great thing about this album is that they're so scattershot in their targets that it's inevitable they're going to hit upon some niggle of modern society, some little tribe or attitude that just gets under your skin and though you know it's stupid to care so much about it you just can't help it. There's probably going to be a song on this album that you don't just like because it's fun and stupid and easy to sing along to, they'll be something where you'll genuinely feel the sense of ridiculously inflated malice towards its intended target.

There's a sort of self-defeating sense to it because it's a profoundly negative album for the most part, but it's the sounds of a bunch of nerds in their basement putting the world to rights and while that doesn't really sound appealing, they're talented enough musically to get you on their side, so you get to vicariously enjoy their pet hates streamed into 90 second pop-punk songs full of brief angry solos and really big choruses. It's the maelstrom of minor frustrations that can slow you down or impede your journey through life cathartically channeled into creating something incredibly dumb and incredibly catchy.

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