FIVE CENT DEPOSIT: Focus on the Negative: CD

Argh. Standard whoa-whoa pop punk that seems specifically designed to get the less-than-hunky band members laid. This album consists of thirteen songs that can be aptly filed into three categories. Categories and song totals include:

1) A vague and undefined sort of spiritual malaise: 4.

2) Feeling alienated from one’s peers: 1.

3) Holding on to, lamenting the loss of, or acknowledging the fact that the singer fucked up the relationship with, a girl: 8.

The idea of “holding,” “taking,” or “keeping” some nameless person in the vocalist’s arms is a common theme spread throughout many of these songs and do not appear specific to a certain aforementioned category. You listen to enough stuff like this and the question eventually arises: who are these women that consistently wind up ruining all these poor pop punkers’ lives? And who are all these guys in nondescript bands that feel they have been so ruined? And why are they all in lame-ass pop punk bands? Why aren’t they spouting the same shit in, say, grindcore bands? And are these men destined to keep repeating the same mistakes with different women, if only so they’ll have some lyrics to paper over their lackluster Herman’s Hermits-like song structures? Or are all of the songs by all of these thousands of bands only about a group of, like, fifteen or twenty women? Like, is there a small posse of attractive, flirtatious punk women spread throughout the country who get together twice a year at conferences, where they network on various emotionally manipulative tactics bent on rending in two the hearts of bland songwriters who could only be called “punk rockers” if you were feeling bad for them? Somehow I doubt it, but someone really should do some sort of case study. End result is that you’ve heard one version or another of Focus on the Negative a hundred times before, and Weston did the whole “I’m a dork and I’m heartbroken” thing a lot better. They also broke up years and years ago.  –keith (Radical)