Played with these intrepid sons of Hamilton, Ontario something like ten years ago in Minnesota; i had to stop and think for a while to confirm it wasn’t the Dinks, from Thunder Bay, i was thinking of ((result: I think we played with both the Vapids AND the Dinks at that show)), which seems fraught with commentary on either my age, my memory, or the fact that any combination of four dudes from Ontario with black leather jackets is roughly equivalent to any other combination of four dudes from Ontario with black leather jackets. Maybe all three. Well, whatever. As far as i can tell, the Vapids are the last legit survivors of the whole ‘90s Ramones-core ((“Riverdales-core?”)) phenomenon, except for Head, who seem like a “special” case ((if you know what i mean)), which pleases me in the same way that i’ve always enjoyed that episode of Gilligan’s Island with the Japanese sailor who doesn’t know that World War II is over. The odd thing about the Vapids is that, whereas most Ramones-core is built around a simple, cartoonish, catchy chorus, most Vapid-toons eschew this tried‘n’true method and go more the route of the New Bomb Turks or Action Swingers, limiting the use of particularly distinct choruses, and often giving the actual title of the song little or no lyrical presence in the body of the lyrics itself—making the music more about drive than hooks, i’d reckon. Granted, you could spend a much worse 24.2 minutes than listening to the album’s fifteen tracks, but one might speculate that one of the reasons why this band hasn’t really connected on a continent-wide level is that they’ve been using the wrong tool for the wrong job—trying to use a Ramones hammer to drive home a New Bomb Turks nail, or some god damn thing. I once passed up the chance to buy Ben Weasel’s Mosrite™ from him for $600, and have always wondered if i made the wrong choice in that regard. Listening to the Vapids in 2007, i remain as confused as ever. BEST SONG: “Got Me on a Leash” BEST SONG TITLE: “Nowhere Man” if you’re the Beatles or the Anti-Nowhere League; “Human Zoo” if you’re Sham 69. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: The song title “9.18. Ft. Lee VA 1952” is actually in reference to Dee Dee Ramone’s birthday. Amazingly, that is also the day that the Beatles recorded the song “Birthday.” It’s also my girlfriend’s son’s birthday, my brother’s wedding anniversary, and the anniversary of Jimi Hendrix’s death. Zany!
–norb (Independent Punk Rock)