I’m glad fifteen-year-old me isn’t listening to this me because, the fifteen-year-old me was a punk fascist. Since it’s Young Governor (cover of Razorcake #63), I’m going to let this record settle long after this review is written. Here’s why. Havana 3 AM. The Brigade. Any music video put out by a one-time punk band that featured people who looked like they were extras in Beyond Thunderdome, but were heavy on the fluorescents and feathers. The hair metal, Joe Wood TSOL. There is a time in almost every band and musicians’ arc where you, as a fan, have to seriously decide stuff like: “Am I willing to follow them… to this? Am I ready for post-________ (fill in the blank) adult if I keep listening? I hate electric-sounding-clicky-tambourine-y things and synthesizers.” Some bands proved absolutely worthless beyond lawsuits, copyright infringement, and fan confusion. (The TSOL debacle.) It’s partially prickly because what we ask and expect of musicians can often be contradictory: “Don’t change too much. That’s scary. Don’t release the same record again and again. That’s boring.” So, as the fifteen-year-old me has already snapped this record over his knee and is attempting to light the now-toothy vinyl on fire, the thirty-nine-year-old me is just hoping that the electro poppy “Dancing with a Friend” is not Ben’s final direction. Because we all know that the first several Clash records are the monuments and Big Audio Dynamite is the shadow. Harsh. And some times you gotta get other stuff out of your system. Really like the three other songs, for sure.
–todd (12XU, 12xu.net)