Suburban Core - The CD
Lab Rat Records

     This band is flat out good.  The first thing I thought of during
the instrumental opening of the very first track (Good Morning) was
"Wow, this sounds like BoogadaBoogadaBoogada".  In fact the entire CD had, just
as the press release promised, an "older Look Out Records" sound to
it.  That is to say, this album is genuinely good pop-punk.
     Lyrically, the album is pretty good too.  There are (and this is
a refreshing change for a pop punk listener) *no* songs about
particular girls, and only one song about girls in general, called
"Everybody Scores But Me".  Mostly, the album seems to be about living
in the suburbs.  It's not the political punk "Burn the Suburbs" motif,
but more the "The burbs sure do suck but they're where I'm from"
approach.  The song "Hotrod Minivan" could easily be an anthem of
vaguely disaffected suburban youths.  The lyrics aren't elegantly
sculpted or eleganty clever, they are brutally blunt.  In several
places, I laughed out loud.
     These guys aren't angsty or pissy so much as they are just
grumpy, and grumpy is a pleasant change from punk bands who want to
annihlate the world (what thinking person doesn't, but too often one
angry band sounds like another) or indie kiddies who seem to have
OD'ed on prozac.
     This is a seriously very good album.  If you like pop punk, you
should consider getting it.
...ron provine...

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