The Gimmes have been around for eleven years? Really? An “unearthed A-sides album”? Unbelievable. It’s hard to spooge over a covers record by a punk super group band—there’s no cache in that. There are wars to consider and Presidents to loathe and inflation and recession; serious business. But fuck me if I haven’t listened to the Gimmes consistently over the last decade. There are four reasons for it. 1.) Spike can sing. The dude’s got a set of pipes. 2.) Drums and guitars mixed high into songs that didn’t have much of them the first go around always makes me smile. 3.) Reclamation time. You won’t find me popping on any John Denver or the Hair soundtrack any time soon, but I’ll sing along to the Gimmes’ “Country Roads” and “Sodomy” without reservation or irony. 4.) Gateway music. Throwing a “mixed” (read: not-exclusively-punk) party? The Gimmes fit the bill. People already know most of the words and the compositions, and that gets rumps shaking. Rumor is that some of the Gimmes’ versions of these songs are played in Japanese airports. Diplomacy is comfort, my friends, and that’s why I endorse the decade-plus joke of the Gimmes to this day.
–todd (Fat, www.fatwreck.com)