MORAL CRUX: Pop Culture Assassins: CD

It’s not difficult to explain Moral Crux to people, but it’s very difficult to explain why they’re so fucking awesome. Basically, they play infectious pop punk in the vein of all that early nineties Lookout stuff: the Queers, Screeching Weasel, Mr. T Experience, Green Day, etc. They’re not newcomers to pop punk – they’ve been at it since around 1989 – and they have all their poppy guitar hooks and sing-along choruses down perfectly. What makes them different, though, is that they replace your basic girl-trouble-bubblegum lyrics with intelligent, catchy lyrics about radical, left-wing politics. Songs that musically sound like they should be called something like “I Wanna Be a Teenage Ramone” actually have titles like “Prelude to a Riot,” “New War Generation,” “Stocks and Bombs,” and “American Nightmare.” It’s hard for me to describe just how fun it is to hear a happy, bouncy song and sing along the lyrics, “I’m going window shopping with a brick.” Also, with this new album, Moral Crux has finally found a way to smoothly blend in their Side Effects of Thinking-era Psychedelic Furs influence into the songs, and this adds one more cool layer to an already cool band.

 –sean (Panic Button)