This may be the first album I have ever listened to with a disconcerted Norse cheeseburger on the cover, but I certainly hope it isn’t the last. The now deceased quartet (two of the dudes are now in House Boat, listen to that ***), spewed up their first LP, Missed the Boat
, a 20-song anti-epic that burns out in less than 22 minutes and runs out of chords after the third track. Tried and true (real) pop punk themes about girls, being a failure, failing with girls, and other affairs that undeniably pertain directly to you, are presented through Grath’s nasally, you-can-almost-see-that-nasty-white-stuff-pooling-at-the-corners-of-his-mouth, voice.
The Steinways throw 20 songs at you as fast as they can, each one wielding its own hook and amusing punch line. The honest lyrics aren’t to be taken seriously at any period on the album. In less time than it takes to get third in a circlejerk, our narrator has attempted to hook up with his friend, an Asian, a Jew, Carrie Goldberg and five other unnamed women. Oddly enough, not a word is mentioned detailing any success. Of course this only makes the listen all the more convivial and enjoyable.
The whole songwriting aspect feels a bit rushed unfortunately. It is as if they came up with a hook…and well, that’s that for substance. Not that I don’t love the 10-second songs, my favorite being “Warped Tour”;
”one million bands, one million hours, too bad all of it sucks”
Each tasty song is served gratuitously on a fork, blanketed with your favorite sweet and delectable dessert. As you close your eyes and dump it in your mouth you find that more than half of it fell on your lap. “Fruitmarket Fantasy” may have the most addictive verse and chorus I have ever heard, but I feel a little cheated. I want to hear that verse/chorus more than once! The five tracks that are at least approaching two minutes in length, truly disclose that these guys can write great songs. “I Want to Kiss You (On the Lips)” and “Carrie Goldberg” had destinies as cherished pop punk anthems.
Ultimately, all you have to lose is 20 minutes. Listen to the lamentations of a rock singer who isn’t a rock star at all and you could possibly fall in love. By the time you’ve finished listening to the bouncing melodies of “KTV”, you’ll be rooting for Grath to finally get laid. After you rock out to “Die Die My Children” you will have decided to drive faster in school zones. In the end you’ll find your brief excursion into 18 years old was just as fun and pathetic as you expected.