HILLTOP RATS: Self-titled: CD

Hi, we’re NOFX, but better. For the first couple seconds of the disc, I really thought I was listening to something on Fat. Personally, I think Fat Mike is a shithead, and I know that’s not an uncommon opinion. Hilltop Rats might be shitheads, but so far I’m not convinced. They’ve got one song, aptly called “Party,” about a house party where some dudes are trying to score with drunk chicks, people are puking, and just rallying in general. Pretty standard punk party scene. But they also have “Mondayne,” where they sing about living paycheck to paycheck, struggling to pay rent, and wanting to wake up from this American dream. Props. They shot a video for “Take It Back” featuring strippers and a female bartender getting treated like shit. I was worried at first, but the message is a positive one with lyrics like, “She’s waiting tables while finishing her degree / late nights and bar fights are getting really old.” It’s pretty refreshing to hear something current that sounds like it was written fifteen years ago and is actually good. If you can imagine a pop punk world where instead of band members kicking you in the face, they’re treating you with respect, check these guys out. I guess this is growing up? 

 –Kayla Greet (Self-released)