SCREAMING FAT RAT: Idiomatic Breakdown: CD

Picture Husker Du and sushi and meaty hooks. Then splice in The Clash (especially “White Man in Hammersmith Palais”) and California rolls and shimmering guitars. Cut with immaculate harmonies. Rising suns with snap, crackle, and pop. The lead vocalists sings in a clipped, almost Big Drill Car delivery with humming and driving melodies. The band’s from Tokyo. Their execution’s perfect. Undeniably to their credit, they do make original pop punk (a genre that – as a whole – is as robust and exciting as an uninflated fuck doll right now). I’ll be honest. There’re right up to the teeter totter of being too perfect. Not in a calculated way, but in a way that they studied it very hard and have it down too pat. They’re almost too proficient. They make it sound almost too easy. And maybe because I’m a fan of barely contained rage when I’m served a bowl of punk rock without songs about girlfriends and bubblegum, but I was expecting more of a raw charge. The last song is a loungey dubbed-to-English version of the aforementioned Clash’s “I’m Not Down.” Drop me a line in six months to see if it’s still in my CD rotation. It’s definitely not bad. It just didn’t bomb my head or bowl a strike.

 –todd (Snuffy Smile)