PLANET FOR TEXAS, A: Sprechen Sie Rock?: CD

This starts out mighty fine – a hopped-up Zeke/Motorhead singalong ditty about truckstop speed, with sweltering breakaparts and neat dynamics – along the lines of what The Reaction put out a couple months back. Pleasant and ferocious enough to warrant a smile. Then, song by song, the band takes bigger nibbles at a big chunk of dry bubblegum; No Use For A Name-reminiscent pop punk or like all Digger albums, except Powerbait. I understand it’s a trick to put toughness and grit into Beach Boys-derived pop punk – the Badtown Boys do exceptionally it well – but A Planet For Texas just don’t stick it. I don’t necessarily hate it, but songs like “The Day I Almost Died” – where the narrator almost ended his “kick ass life” by choking on a fry while driving – come off as too clever and cute and ruin it for me. It’s also a lame idea to have people go to your website for lyrics. That’s what the fuckin’ inside of the cover’s for. Am I wrong?

 –todd (Diaphragm)