Review Summary: “We're broke as fuck, but we can't complain”
Everyone has to start somewhere. Before they became the giants of the genre they are with albums like The Upsides
and The Greatest Generation
, The Wonder Years were just six dudes making songs about ninjas, astronauts, and the Kool-Aid man. Get Stoked On It!’s
outlook on life was more immature and youthful than anything else the band had done. And while the band would later come out with landmark records for pop-punk, Get Stoked On It!
was in no way a sign of things to come.
The Wonder Years’ 2007 sound came about as a clash of heavy guitar riffing and poppy synths. While the concept is unique and works well enough for the 12-track album, it can start to become grating to the ear after about three tracks or so. The production on Get Stoked On It!
is serviceable enough, but it’s clear to tell that the entire effort was not made with the most care or expertise. No song here could be considered complex or masterful. The riffs are simple, the drumming is energetic but not much beyond that, and the synths only come in three tones. The whole sound of the record isn’t up to par of later releases, but the immature and simple nature of it becomes endearing. It really just sounds like a small band having fun making music together.
The main drawback to this record and will be a major gripe to many people is that the lyrics throughout the record are mindless and downright silly. “Bout to Get Fruit Punched, Homie” tells the captivating and gripping of story of the Kool-Aid man finding out that his wife has been cheating on him with Captain Crunch. “Buzz Aldrin: The Poster Boy For Second Place”, a space-themed love song, finds Soupy singing lyrics like If Orion looks at you wrong, I just may need to beat those pussy-ass stars
. For a band praised for it’s writing, their early work is seriously lacking in that department. A good amount of enjoyment of the record hinges on whether or not the silliness of the songs is a huge hindrance to the listener.
The Wonder Years’ 2007 effort is an energetic, youthful, and enjoyable debut for the, at the time, young and naive rockers. The hooks and gang vocals are enough to get some to start singing along to the melody of heavy guitars and cheap-sounding synths. The simplicity and the silliness of the music and lyrics might be a major drawback to some, but works well enough to create a solid collection of songs that will bring smiles to many faces. Get Stoked On It!
will not be remembered for having an incredible sound, but as a stepping stone for the band to become something greater.