SORE THUMBS, THE/HIT BY A SEMI: Split: 7″

The sound of hooligan sloganeering is a distinctly British phenomenon (although the Scottish give them a good run for their money). Several American bands have successfully replicated the sound, but culturally speaking, there’s something innately weird about yanks belting out goofy, macho lyrics. To their credit, bands like Hit By A Semi perfectly ape the whoa-ee-ooooh backing vocals of their brethren across the pond, but to the jaded ear, this might not seem like that big of a deal. “Addiction” is the sort of song written for muscleheads who discovered punk rock after being kicked off their high school football team for excessive roughness. “Roll with the Punches” is yet another in a long line of jock punk anthems of self-affirmation—sort of like Anthony Robbins on a handful of black beauties and a twelve pack of Schlitz. Although the Sore Thumbs share the Semi’s passion for the requisite backing shout vocals, their style is decidedly more Californian. In fact, if you’re looking for a group that recalls the obscure ‘80s punk bands who never got farther than a Mystic Records compilation, these guys are well worth checking out. Lyrically “Heartbreaks & Razorblades” might be cut from the same cloth as that of their labelmates, but the band sounds like they’re having a lot more fun.

 –eric (Sacred Arts)