by Frank Ippolito
You know, if you know me, I’m the type of person that tries, I mean, really tries hard to find the good in every situation. Like, for instance, last summer the A/C in my car was out – in the summer and it was 1,000,000,000 degrees outside – and I’m like, “Hey, people are paying top dollar in Sedona to sit in a sweat lodge and I’m doing it for free.” Or, when I’ve been laid-off a gig, I’d be all like, “I can freelance AND watch House marathons! Sign me up!”
Which brings me to Pen15 Club by Mooseknuckle Sandwich.
Let me begin with the positive. Look, I get it. You are Punk Rock. You want to rebel. Be different. Rage against the corporate overlords. Oh wait, that isn’t positive…
(Fast-forward three hours of conjuring up every positive thought in my being.)
Every one of these tracks are brilliant. For about 5 or 10 seconds. There’s an idea. A riff. There’s some really, really good bass lines, (I guess when you have two bass players in a group, BooBoo LeFume and Stankgirl, there is a 50/50 chance).
And…let’s see…wait…it’s coming to me…yeah, this is a great album for those who suffer from ADHD. Not just the severe, must-take-medication severe ADHD, but the I’m-a-squirrel-and-I-have-ADHD-and-I’m-on-medication severe. That’s because the longest track is a mere 1:01 aptly titled, “Tourette’s.” (That was a super positive fail.)
And one more thing… I just wish Mooseknuckle Sandwich would have taken maybe a couple more minutes, meaning a lot more time, maybe months coming up with a solid melody and maybe vocals that didn’t sound like someone strangling a Theramin. The vocals sound exactly like Joey Santiago’s lead riff on “Vamos,” which, by the way, is an amazing guitar riff except Mooseknuckle speeds it up. Way up.
With all that stated, I could really, really, I mean, really like this album, but I don’t. And I think it’s a shame because I really do think Mooseknuckle Sandwich has talent. I can hear it – it’s just sandwiched in between trying to hard and not giving a shit. By the way, the strangled cat on the cover…apropos…
Hear for yourself below: