Fair-to-middlin’ early effort by a Montreal band that might wax, wane, mutate or destruct utterly prior to emitting a full-length. The toolbox of the Dropkick Murphys and/or Rancid is, apparently, open and available to them—which is fine—however, in numerous spots on this 45, it seemed to me as if the band were manufacturing their would-be bombastic street anthems out of more or less nothing but non-load-bearing structural elements. Like, you know, where’s the fucking BEEF, jack? Everything can be rocking along mightily one second, and, the next, one gets the distinct impression that nothing dwells beneath the surface of these songs—like a well-crafted piñata that somehow didn’t get packed with anywhere near as many SweeTarts™ as would be right and just. I mean, they have the outer form of the music they wish to play down cold (dig those air-raid-siren Clash guitars on “36 Cents”), but, in other spots, the singer howls “IIIIII DAUUUUNNNNN’T THAAAANNNNNKK SOOOOOOO!!!” in his dorky fake British accent (which, BTW, i have no problem with) like sixty-four (or something) times in a row, like he REALLY thinks he just invented either a.) a cure for cancer, or b.) the best Rock Hook since “NOooooo FUUUUU-CHAH! NOoooo FUUUU-CHAH! NOooooo FUUU-CHAH FO’ YOUUUUUU!!!” … it’s like, dude, get over yourself—”I Don’t Think So” is NOT a rock masterpiece—so plan your assaults on Planet Earth with this in mind. At this early stage in their career, i am reserving judgment on Jerk Appeal—the one X-Factor on their side being that this band contains an ex-member of the Radicts. The Radicts were one of those bands that even i, as a guy who maybe kinda might occasionally slide into Music-Snob-ism, could appreciate—i mean, you’d hear like the first ten seconds of a song and be like “oh, fuck, i listened to this music when i was sixteen, who needs it?”—but then you’d keep listening and be like, “fuck, these guys know their shit, totally!” The Radicts were probably the best American band, ever (unless we’re counting like Rancid and the Dropkick Murphys), to be able to handle those sort of English street punk clichés and use ‘em and spit ‘em back out as damn fine tunes—i mean, it was just something they could do, perhaps without even thinking about it. I hereby “suggest” that the guy from the Radicts take over the band, and everybody else listen to what the fuck he says. Unless there is some manner of French-English language barrier, in which case let the best Esperanton win! BEST SONG: “36 Cents” BEST SONG TITLE: “I Don’t Think So,” which is not that great of a song title FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: I already said it: That one guy was in the Radicts. That’s all ya get!
–norb (Sonik’s Chicken Shrimp)