STRAWBERRY BLONDES: Fight Back: CD

This album is extremely derivative of Rancid, right down to recording quality and structure of the album. I always felt the extended appeal of Rancid lay mostly in the quality of Tim Armstrong’s voice. The Strawberry Blondes don’t have that personality working for them. The music is competent in the overproduced punk-with-ska-riffs vein. I’m not trying to be a dick about it; if you told me there was a band derivative of The Devil Dogs, I would probably give it extra consideration. So if you are esoteric about Rancid, this might appeal to you. However, I will be a dick about this: their bio claims that their songs are “based on the rudiments thrown down by the classic first Clash album.” Couldn’t this be said about almost any punk album produced after 1977? Oh, how bands will try and try to noncommittally edge The Clash into their bios. Punk 101: Don’t compare yourself to the Clash.

 –Billups Allen (Wolverine)