TracklistPunx Been Dead We’re Just Stupid
Sex, Lunch, And Rock And Roll
Below The Boot
Always In The Crowd
Vegan And Scara
Town Cars And Gay Bars
Total And Complete Gnarliness
This Party Boat Is Sinking
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When you get handed a random punk album to review, you never really know what you’re in store for. On one side of the coin, the album could be well produced with perfect punk harmonies soaked with despair layered over-top instrumentation that contradicts said melancholy. Or you can have complete shit; a bunch of late-teens that just discovered a Bigwig album and want to be quirky, yet edgy. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started listening to Karbomb’s release Nose Before Toes, mainly because I never heard of these dudes and I’m slowly becoming a jaded old man who has succumbed to the power that radio rock has on the bitter and elderly--complacency. However, once I pushed play, I realized I was in for much more than just some punks who wanted to bitch and moan on a record.
First things first, the opening track might have the greatest title ever, “Punx Not Dead We’re Just Stupid.” Immediately I was hit with a wave of nostalgia as the guitars and drums worked together effortlessly to give way to the raspy and care-free vocals that together provided the perfect mix of punk rock harmony. Throughout the track’s entirety I had the biggest shit-eating grin on my face because all I heard was what sounded like a party where Bigwig and Kid Dynamite got together and decided to write music. “Sex, Lunch and Rock and Roll” keeps the 90’s feel rolling right along. The key part in this particular track is the guitar solo; it has a major Lagwagon feel to it which completely cements the nostalgia effect into place. Then, without even noticing immediately, I found myself listening to the next track. Apparently track two rides right into the third track, “Bastard Flu,” via punk rock riffs. All is good though, the distinction comes in at about the 30 second mark and I’m right back to noddin’ my head and tappin’ my right foot quietly under my desk at my 9-5.
At some point I decided to watch some live Youtube videos on these dudes and it was then that I realized the lead vocals were coming from the drummer, Nick Fit. Pretty awesome if you ask me! Scanning the rest of the album, you can definitely learn to appreciate the music a lot more. Every track is an easy listen but not too easy to the point of boredom. The overwhelming sense of nostalgia is incredible. Take for example the closing track “This Party Boat is Sinking.” The basic characteristics of the track have late 90’s written all over it. You start with a slow build-up and slide right into Nick’s raspy vocals that teeter back and forth with the gruff harmonies projected from the rest of the band.
The entire album is new to me but I feel like I’ve heard it all before. Not in a bad way but in a “THIS FUCKIN RULES” kind of way. It was really hard to get the shit-eatin’ grin off my face while session-ing this album due to how much it reminded me of the “good ol’ days.” I don’t see myself coming back to the album several times a week but I know that when I need a fresh pick-me-up, Nose Before Toes will be the prefect remedy.