RIVETHEAD: The Cheap Wine of Youth: 12” EP

This issue’s cover band, and this bad boy is part of the reason. I’ll admit it right here, I love pop punk, from Stiff Little Fingers and the Buzzcocks to Love Songs for the Retarded-era Queers and I celebrate a good portion of the Screeching Weasel catalog, but I have to concede that I was hearing few worthy torchbearers or upgrades in the 2000s. (Joe King, what’s the title of your next song? “Fuck fuck cunt fuck fuck fuck?” The well is dry. Go fish.) Rivethead not only have the irresistible melodies and the smart-as-a-baton-across-the-mouth lyrics while not taking themselves too seriously, they’ve got an ace in the hole. They sound relevant, like they’re actually struggling and fucking up in the world at large, not just complaining that Wednesday’s deli tray wasn’t supposed to have olives with pimentos or such minutia-laden crap a lot of pop punk has bottomed out in. I’ve had a head start on this EP. The band gave me a burn of it about six months ago and it’s been on constant play ever since. Recommendations don’t come any higher from me. (Thumbs up to Recess, too, for pressing this on the more expensive, often overlooked, but clearly superior 12” 45 format.) 

 –todd (Recess)