Who remembers the summer of 2000? Who remembers a summer when global warming hadn’t caused the heat to be so insufferably hot that going outside was out of the question? Who remembers that insanely catchy song that came out that summer; that one that went: “If I die before I wake, at least in heaven I can skate”? A song that perfectly captured the feeling of summer-no more school, skating, fun with friends, daytime drinking, that laid back party atmosphere. In fact, these elements that made up the lyrical nature of their hit single can sum up the feeling of that whole album. It is a fun, party album – and it is simple as that. It is nothing more, and nothing less than that – fun. This is a good thing, because OPM don’t try to make it anything more than that. Most people will only know OPM because of ‘Heaven Is A Halfpipe’
, and would assume that this album would be all filler except for it’s big single. Most people would be wrong.
The album begins with ‘Stash Up’
, a song about stealing, so it is somewhat relevant that it begins with blatant thievery of the bass line from Jane’s Addiction’s ‘Mountain Song’. The lyrics may be a little lame, but the rapped verses are enjoyable, as is the chorus. It is all simple and very memorable, which because of the poppy nature of the music, is definitely a good thing. It is followed by ‘Interlude: Punanny’
which is one of three short interludes on the album. Despite being instantly classifiable as filler, it links tracks well. Other interludes include ‘Rage Against The Coke Machine’
an immature but funny assault on a vending machine which malfunctions, and ‘Interlude: 15 Minutes’
a poor attempt at fast, trashy, punk.
The song that everyone will recognise off the album ‘Heaven Is A Halfpipe’
comes after the first interlude, and is predictably one of the strongest songs here. It has the same happy, upbeat feeling of the rest of the album; but stands out on the album because of the undeniable catchiness and pop-value of it. It is followed by the other single ‘El Capitan’
: another enjoyable three-and-a-half minutes of reggae and hip-hop, written about getting a girl pregnant while being drunk. It is particularly enjoyable when rappers Matthew and Johne help each other finish their individual lines.
Despite most of the songs here being very enjoyable and of a high standard, there is the occasional dip in quality. This is noticeable on ‘Trucha’
which mixes jazz, reggae and Latin influences nicely, but the vocals ruin this song as in some cases they are sung in annoying tones, especially in the first verse. The second verse is much better with nice rhymes and a better vocalist rapping it. A chorus in Spanish goes amiss here, as it instantly loses the infectiousness of other songs.
This dip in quality is made up for songs like ‘Brighter Side’
, a slower song which is essentially rapping over clean guitars, except for the chorus about how the world is driven by lust for money, where distortion is used. Towards the end of the song the speed is doubled, and this change in tempo makes the conclusion to the song exciting, before returning to the laid-back, clean guitars and eventually fading out. Other highlights include ‘Unda’
, which is possibly the most upbeat song on the album, and features a very nice, jazzy saxophone solo; ‘Fish Out Of Water’
an infantile questioning of why we have to go to work, and go through the same boring routine day after day. The song is the perfect antidote the boredom of work, being a great party anthem.
Punks can be assured that OPM have not covered legendary Berkeley punks Operation Ivy on ‘Sound System’
. It is a nice end to the party, and ultimately the album with another blast of reggae and hip-hop. It is about playing at a party, and certainly has a party feel to it, being very easy to sing or dance along to.
Overall, the album is very enjoyable (hence the over usage of that word throughout the review) and is a perfect party album. There is far more to this album than the band’s big single, and this is evident from just one listen. Despite the fun factor that this album has, it has little longevity but still makes for a fun, nostalgic listen when popped into a CD player a full 7 years after its release.