So this month, my education in pop punk continues with this reissue of the band’s sophomore release, Born on the First of July, and its follow up, From Scene to Shining Scene,with about another album’s worth of bonus tracks tacked on for good measure. I mentioned my continuing education above as I purposely kind of steered clear of the genre historically and have been happily brought up to speed by the wizard who assigns review material at Razorcake HQ. As remorseful as I have been about my past finds, I am perhaps even more remorseful that I never checked these guys out sooner. Had I done so, I would have found that these guys came up with some positively mean hooks and have a knack for writing some clever songs without coming off as overwrought. Thankfully, they leave the three-part harmonies at home too, which is refreshing. I was a bit overwhelmed at the sheer amount of material on this re-release. While it’s clear that this is a great value—two albums and the bonus material on one disc—it’s perhaps a matter of having too much of a good thing. I found that listening to the songs as individual albums was invariably more satisfying than listening to the full package.
–Garrett Barnwell (Fat Wreck)