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Asinine (

Ska was supposed to be the next step in punk's long evolutionary trudge. Then bands began channeling embarrassing diary entries into their songs. Amherst ska-punk act Asinine disregards the big pop-punk takeover; it would've fit perfectly on a late '90s Warped Tour.

For a basement recording, Asinine's self-titled debut EP is extremely crisp. The group's mixture of snotty vocals, skankin' upstrokes, and the same three power chords is as tight as any Op Ivy-worshiping collective. It's the politics that lag behind. On "National Security," the quartet shouts that George W. Bush doesn't care about any of us. Who knew?

Asinine embraces every punk political cliché within the disc's first 15 minutes. The sentiments never dig beyond the surface and reek of empty sloganeering. The group's main redeeming quality is an infectious youthful enthusiasm.

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