Take a Break (Fat Wreck Chords)

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes 

Take a Break (Fat Wreck Chords)

A glance around one recent hippie-dippie outdoor fest shows there are still some unfortunate souls who think Dr. Seuss headgear is zany. Some things that are funny at first become excruciatingly annoying later. Like Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, a concept band that, from its inception six years ago, barely rated a chuckle: An all-dork-skate-punk lineup (culled from bands like NOFX, Lagwagon, and the Swingin' Utters) gives the pop-punk treatment to old radio hits.

And that's it. There isn't even a Weird Al Yankovic level of geeky rewrite here. Me First simply speeds up yesterday's standards, serving only to reiterate what an unimaginative one-trick pony pop punk has become. And Break is the band's fourth album! This time, they've found a way to sound even more awful, by sticking to R&B/soul hits of the last 30 years. Their meager idea of a lark is to slip a Sex Pistols riff into "Save the Best for Last." To top it off, they deck themselves out in "nerdy" suits and cardigans, like "Whoa, these guys are punk dudes?!" As if we didn't know they were nerds in the first place.

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