TEARS, THE: Self-titled: CD

One of the greatest tragedies of my generation is that i used up all my good Tears wisecrackery in an earlier piece, as this band continues to fail to produce any manner of strong reaction with me other than an occasional acute appreciation for the glories of kneesocks and playing guitar on one leg. I mean, on the one hand, they’re kinda good; on the other hand, they have like exactly zero by way of legitimate “A” material. On the mysteriously unaccounted for third hand, however, they do have a fairly decent supply of B+ material (“Miss Queen” “Never Alone” “Another Girl” and “Worst Lie” coming immediately to mind) (well, not immediately, i kinda had to look at the track listings to jog my memory, but, i mean, you know, fairly immediately thereafter), so who am i to be critical? Yet, on the one hand, the songs kinda lumber along when, by rights, they oughtta be snapping and crackling; on the other hand, maybe it’s the lumbering that would theoretically set them apart from those who wouldst waste our time with their incessant snapping and crackling. Yet, back to the first hand, the whole “punk-fed, blues-weaned, and barely legal!” thing has been kinda universally beat to death for years; yet, then again, there are enough idiosyncratic aesthetic elements bouncing around in the mix that the band is managing to forge a collective identity regardless. But, then again again, i really see no evidence of legitimate creative genius at work, nor indications of the latent presence of same. But, then again again again, how much of that does one really need to function effectively within the parameters of the rock & roll idiom? But, yet, on the one hand, a lot of those student-level blues string-bendin’ riff thingies are pretty hokey and played out; yet, on the other hand, some of ‘em are really fuckin’ cool (“Worst Lie”), though, back to the hand we started on, i can’t imagine anybody, anywhere, wanting to hear white kids from Wisconsin singing the phrase “Tuesday morning” as “Tuesday Mo’nin’,” and what was the last truly great song written by caucasians that accented the 2 and the 4? “Taxman?” But then again, there’s that last song (“I Know It’s Hard”), reminiscent of that Joe King/Lisa Marr duet of a few years back, but sung by what sounds like a pair of short school bus riding coeds in matching his and her hockey helmets after their being partially euthanized with nail polish remover on the way to the studio. Now THAT’S a beautiful thing, man. BEST SONG: “Miss Queen” or “Worst Lie” BEST SONG TITLE: “Blew My Baby Away,” although “Fast Cars” worked pretty well for the Buzzcocks FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Back cover depicts guitarist Natalie perusing an issue of Cheri, which was the first skin mag i ever bought, back when i was confused about my sexuality (i.e. i thought i dug white girls with big tits)

 –norb (Trick Knee)