Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Chixdiggit - Safeways Here We Come

I used to talk to this girl from a Streetlight Manifesto message board from like 2007 until 2009, and now I think she hates me. Regardless, during this period of time, she got me into a lot of pop punk bands that I didn't listen to. I only really listened to basic punk and basic ska. Descendents and Streetlight were all that mattered to me...I was so young and naive. She introduced me to Teenage Bottlerocket, and I guess I'm required to be forever grateful or something. She also tried to get me into Chixdiggit a few times, but I never really gave them much of a chance; I was too busy with the other thousands of new pop punk bands I was discovering each day. I listened to them enough to catch their drift, though. They're a band who sings catchy songs about girls. That sums it up. Now they've come out with a new EP after quite some time off, and now I feel obligated to give this album my two cents (despite me being too cheap to actually pay for it).

The first song on this album is called "Miso Ramen" and I actually was already familiar with it, because it was on Fat Wreck's "Harder, Fatter, and Louder!!" last year. This is a song about a girl, so really it's right down my alley. I listen to The Steinways and the aforementioned Teenage Bottlerocket; I'm not stranger to loving songs that are about girls. The band's style is pretty straight forward. You have a simple chord progression with infectious vocals. On this song it's basically muted chords for the verse, then they drop the muted strumming for the bridge and chorus. This song is fun, catchy, and of course has a lead that sounds all too similar to the vocal melody at first, but then it turns into some neat little rock n roll solo. Overall, not such a bad song.

With the second song, you'll notice that muted chords are pretty common during verses with this band, whereas the chorus always finds the chords ringing out. This song is nothing special. The guitar solo about 2/3 into the song is pretty cool, but only lasts a few measures and is nothing new. The next song is another simple song with a muted verse, rung out choruses, and a guitar solo. I like that the guitar solos sound very rock n roll, at least, but I'm not getting too much out of this stuff personally. It's a song you can just write off. "Found Love" is another song about a girl, like the last few songs have been. I like Chixdiggit's drums more than anything else in the band. They give the music more of an old school vibe, and it sounds like you'd be seeing this band play on a beach in some nonexistent third Brady Bunch movie. This song is catchier than the others, and one of the better on the album. Why did anyone even write the next song "Hot N Horny"? It's a song about wanting to fuck, so of course everyone can relate to it. But it's boring. Really boring. I'm done with it.

My favorite song on the album is "I Hate Basketball". It's trademark pop punk at its best. The leads are awesome, and the guitar tone is brilliant. It's more of their muted verses at first, but the second verse has accented chords instead, bringing something different to their table of semi-blandness. The chorus is catchy and is just "I hate basketball, I hate basketball, I hate basketball". I can't relate, because I love basketball, but I still love this song. I feel like they figured out what I liked about the album, and decided to employ it on the last track, "I Hope Things Will Turn Around". The lead guitar is awesome, and the muted strumming mixed with accented guitar on the snare hit is pretty awesome. I like the vocals the most on this song, it's where I notice that I really like the singer KJ's voice. It sounds like he could be Grath Madden's uncle or something. His voice is really what makes this EP worth listening to for me. I can listen to it on repeat for hours just because of it. Soon the songs I found boring will become songs I know by heart, and I'll feel like a hypocrite.

Overall, though, I'd have to say this album just doesn't bring the heat. It's fun, but I can get my fix somewhere else for this type of pop punk. I know they've been doing this shit longer than my favorite pop punk bands, and I give respect for that purpose. But I feel like they maybe should've just expanded as musicians. It's why I find Kepi's stuff so boring now, I guess. It happens. Since occasionally I throw in a random rating, I will now. I give it a 6/10. You can pick it up at Interpunk and judge for yourself, as always.


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