AMERICAN STEEL: Dear Friends and Gentle Hearts: CD

Grown-up pop punk—polished production, expert musicianship, earnest vocals, and lyrics filled with personal introspection all wrapped up in snappy two and three minute packages. It doesn’t do much to excite me, however. And it’s not for a lack of fist-pumping choruses. Don’t worry guys, it has plenty of those. It’s just not exactly my bag, but I can see plenty of kids and grown-ups alike getting down with this album. My one real issue with the record is the line “haters can blow us” in the song “Your Ass Ain’t Laughing Now.” This is a pet peeve for me, but I really dislike the term “hater” and how it has permeated American English. And using it in conjunction with some lame, macho threat that were one to hate on them that fellatio would—by the hating party—then be a requirement is absolutely ridiculous. Firstly, it’s lazy songwriting. Secondly, it’s treading on offensive.

 –Jeff Proctor (Fat)