When I was first getting into the whole "non-rap/rnb/dance" scene, I would hang out with a friend of mine, and we'd listen to the Nitro compliation release "Punkzilla" constantly, and it was then I first heard bands I am now very fond of, such as AFI, Guttermouth and The Vandals. Hearing "Behind The Music" and "Why Are You Alive?" persuaded me to run out and buy "Look What I Almost Stepped In". I was instantly a fan. Their loveable pop-punky charm and humour, fast two-minute songs and Warren Fitzgerald were a perfect combination. They have the power to make everyone
leave their shows with a smile upon their faces.
Songs to back-up my opinion? "I've Got An Ape Drape" springs to mind.
"I've got an ape drape! Yes I do!
They're givin' them to anyone and that means you!
You can drive to Riverside and get one too
And then you'll have an ape drape like I do!"
With these lyrics, all four members of the band singing them, and the crowd also, you can't help but smile. This is what they do best on their albums. They put many "sing-along" or back up parts throughout their songs, so the crowd are influenced to join in.
Guitarist Warren is quite skilled, but relies a lot on his stage-presence for good audience feedback. Bassist Joe is nothing special in all honesty, and was the Vandals' drummer when they first started out. The infamous Josh Freese, who has drummed with Guns n' Roses, A Perfect Circle, and on The Offspring's latest album "Splinter" is quite the talent behind a kit. He's got great speed! Dave has a sort of "teenagey" voice in my opinion. There's something about his voice that I love, but I don't know what it is.
The Vandals mainly rely on their lyrics and not so much on the music. If you give "My Girlfriend's Dead" a listen, what you hear is quite well-thought out lyrics. They do have great guitar and bass parts, such as "An Idea For A Movie", and a number of solos, which easily pits Warren over someone like Tom Delonge. Most of the songs were written by Warren, some by Joe, and one or two by Josh and Dave. "Come Out Fighting" is a cover of a Pennywise song, and dedicated to the memory of Jason Matthew Thirsk.
Some down sides to the album would be a few songs sound a bit samey, and they mostly have the same song structure.
I have to give full credit for the album title, as whenever I hear it, I still
laugh. Now for some random information: On the inside of the album, Warren has provided some of his drawings of some of the songs. They've even opened up their own online dating agency, named after their second-most recent album, "Internet Dating Superstuds". Proof again of their loveable humour! Relatives of Josh played Saxophone on some songs, and they played a tuba at the beginning of "I Know, Huh?". And did you know that bassist Joe is the owner of Kung-Fu Records?
People That Are Going To Hell
My Girlfriend's Dead
I've Got An Ape Drape
If The Gov't Could Read My Mind
This in my own opinion is The Vandals' best release, with "Look What I Almost Stepped In" as a close second. If you like The Vandals, your collection isn't complete without this. I also think that this album could easily make The Vandals one of your new favourite bands. 4/5
- Guitars, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
- Bass, Backing Vocals
- Drums, Backing Vocals