THE OOPS Taste of Zimbabwe CD/LP

Now that bands like Off!, Cola Freaks, and Loose Dudes are making Capital-P Punk Rock something palatable/worthwhile/entertaining/relevant/what-have-you again for those of us who don’t come into the proverbial city from the proverbial burbs in our finest punky accouterments (with “’77” stitched on the backs of our neatly pressed jean jackets and everything!), I’d like to think I could be, you know, hep, to what these Italians are getting up to with their (count ‘em) eighteen songs clocking in at a tidy eighteen minutes and forty-two seconds, but I kinda just get visions of Weasel-nistas in dangling wallet chains and baggy-fat clamdigger shorts, fanzines stacked to the moon and back re: “selling out,”  and the singer of The Offspring. (That’s right, Sheena: It’s the 1990’s!) Which isn’t to say the music ain’t impassioned, wicked fast, filled with both sound and fury. It is. But lots of bands do this, have done this, and probably will continue doing this. It’s the bar rock of today. They’ll probably love this in Cleveland (loud! fast! burrrrrp!), even if their cover of “Small Man, Big Mouth” is slower than the original…. and such a move is as superfluous a gesture as trying to write a sequel to “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.”  It makes one wish there were more Lucky Lehrers out there—more Will Shatters, Philo Cramers, more Von LMOs—more somebodies doing something new and different and original and exciting with this thing called p-u-n-k rather than the same old ham-and-egger three chord boom chick.  But hey—maybe you want something that’s like in the tradition and all that. Well, here you go! [Slovenly]

-Brian Costello

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