The Reaganomics - Lower the Bar (Cover Artwork)

The Reaganomics

The Reaganomics: Lower the BarLower the Bar (2011)
Red Scare

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: Rich27Rich27
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Apparently the Reaganomics include the guys from a band called Ryan's Hope. This lowered my expectations slightly, as I'd heard a few tracks of theirs and wasn't overly impressed. Still, different name, so different music was all I hoped for. The Reaganomics quite clearly fit into the pop-punk ge.
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Apparently the Reaganomics include the guys from a band called Ryan's Hope. This lowered my expectations slightly, as I'd heard a few tracks of theirs and wasn't overly impressed. Still, different name, so different music was all I hoped for.

The Reaganomics quite clearly fit into the pop-punk genre, with an ethos that revolves around sing-along tunes, absolutely zero seriousness and some decent (and in places, highly amusing) lyrics. It's unfortunate for some bands to be lumped into a genre alongside a multitude of bands all doing basically the same sort of thing as it can stop them from actually achieving some sort of recognition. If you were to say to me the Reaganomics are like Cobra Skulls, then I'm likely not to listen to them as I don't rate the latter band at all. So, whilst the Reaganomics are probably a Second Division pop-punk band, what they have actually released does have something that pushes them towards the top of that second tier, showing the potential for a promotion.

On my first listen to Lower the Bar, I felt that it was overly long in terms of the number of tracks as opposed to time. There appeared to be too much filler, which could have been stripped out to still leave the band with a good 11- or 12-track record. However, as is often the way, repeated plays got me hooked into songs that didn't have that initial draw, with the result being that at 17 songs (in just under 30 minutes) this album seems to be right on track.

The album opens strongly with "Don't Worry, We'll Play First", which is speedily followed by "Ed Hardy", and then a song about Robocop, and why not?

"Chor an Idiot" invokes some Greg Graffin-esque vocals whilst conveying a message far from that which Bad Religion would be likely to put forth; even if Graffin did, it wouldn't be in such a succinct manner.

The songs keep coming thick and fast as the guitar blazes away and lyrics are delivered full of sarcasm, fun and/or loathing. "Stop Sending Me Evites to Your Shows" had me chuckling, but it was "Chireland" that really had me laughing and also clapping; yes, I actually applauded them for this song. Whether they are serious in their vitriol aimed at the fake Irish who seem to be everywhere in the world or it's just an act, they touched on something that I still don't understand–the general assumption that the Irish are wonderful people and we should love them all. What makes droves start wearing green on 17th March? Can't they drink themselves into oblivion on any day of the year? I suggest the masses don daffodils, dragons and leeks on 1st March as it's much cooler to be Welsh! Rant over, review continues...

"F.G.A. (Future Grandfathers of America)", again, shows that these guys can whip together a good tune with lyrics that, although are never going to challenge anyone cerebrally, will certainly cause merriment and the occasional laugh to be released.

The Reaganomics remind me of a number of current and former top-flight (First Division) pop-punk bands including NOFX, the Vandals and No Use for a Name (before the latter two began to suck) in places, but the main reference point for anyone wanting to find a similar approach would be 30 Foot Fall, who were capable of producing quality, fun pop-punk, amusing and lacking any sense of being overly serious.

This is a fun album, with a few tracks that have the potential for longevity about them, whilst some might fall by the wayside over coming months/years as with many albums. It's no classic, but will at times provide just what is needed to relieve the boredom of daily life and alleviate the drudgery that many have to cope with, and for that we must be thankful. Riding high near the top of the Second Division ain't a bad place to be.


People who liked this also liked:
The Copyrights - North Sentinel IslandCobra Skulls - Bringing the War HomeBomb the Music Industry! - VacationDead to Me - Cuban BallerinaAgainst Me! - Searching For A Former ClarityTeenage Bottlerocket - They Came from the ShadowsDave Hause - ResolutionsAndrew Jackson Jihad - Knife ManCobra Skulls - AgitationsDead To Me - Moscow Penny Ante

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
forfuksake (January 20, 2012)

This record is fucking great. Im a little late but thats nothing new. Cant wait for some new stuff! No mention of "the WB" ??..That song is great fun..and ed hardy too.

ChokingVictim (February 24, 2011)

probably wouldn't have checked this out based on the review, but i love these guys. definitely better than ryan's hope. i'm not usually into goofy lyrics but these guys do it right

Sick_Nick (February 23, 2011)

Hey, what happen to punk news records anyways?

NIVEK82 (February 23, 2011)

If NOFX and Vandals are only 1st division "on their day" then wouldn't that make them inconsistant and 2nd division?

Problematiclogic (February 23, 2011)

The whole 'divisions' things is ridiculous. Geez...

StraightToHell82 (February 23, 2011)

At best, Screeching Weasel is 3rd Division.

punker001 (February 23, 2011)

I highly doubt the record label wrote the review :) they would never slag off an amazing band like Cobra Skulls!!! Soon as they were on the Label. Think about it?? This review annoyed me when he slagged off Cobra Skulls and Ryans Hope who are amazing!!! but then he completely reedemed himself with the 30footFALL!! comment. (One of the best pop punk bands ever). go figure.

Long live Cobra Skulls

Rich27 (February 23, 2011)

To help you guys out:

1st Division - the best of the bunch re: pop-punk bands i.e. Screeching Weasel, NOFX (on their day), The Vandals (on their day)
2nd Division - up and comers (The Reaganomics) or solid older bands who might be inconsistent (The Queers)
3rd Division - those bands who are not as good as the above (The Cobra Skulls - IN MY OPINION!)
4th Division - all those bands without an ounce of talent, ability or who just plainly copy others

Think of major league baseball, triple AAA, double AA etc or however the baseball system works over there!

To clarify for those who got confused - I liked The Reaganomics album more on repeated listens. It's a good album hence 7/10.

irish_punk_is_gimmickry (February 22, 2011)

best part of this review is that its listed below 2 live shows, a 7", and a pj harvey record..............................

thepopeofchili-town (February 22, 2011)

First line made me laugh, wasn't Ryan's Hope on Punknews Records?

Anyway, this is nothing new, but it's fun. I dig it.

enchanted_steel (February 22, 2011)

This review intrigued me so I checked out the songs on iTunes and just bought the album. I'm about half way through right now and really enjoying it! Thanks punknews!

StraightToHell82 (February 22, 2011)

As of February 22nd, 2011, this is the best album to be released this year.

I was totally into Ryan's Hope, but I'd take Reaganomics over them any day.
This band is just fun... plain and simple. In a time where every fucking band thinks they're hot shit and whatever they're writing is the most important thing in the world, it's a very-fucking-welcome breathe of fresh air to hear 4 dudes simply having a great, fun time.

If anyone can't get into these guys, you need to slap yourself in your fucking face... not everything has to be overly artsy-pretentious like Titus Andronicus, Bright Eyes, or what-have-you (though I'm not saying those bands are bad)... but just have fun for once.

Great live band to boot. Thumbs way up!

levi-dolphin (February 22, 2011)

this review is fucking dumb!!! the Cobra Skulls rule!!! Ryan's Hope rules!!! if the members weren't in Ryan's Hope i don't know if i would have listened to this at all... Anyways this album is funny, fast, and leaves you completely satisfied, so come on Ryan's Hope make a new album!!!

jimmynorville (February 22, 2011)

Jesus, this is a really negative review for such a high score.

Problematiclogic (February 22, 2011)

I like these guys. I can't help feeling that their talents are a little wasted making this kinda 3 chord punk music just because it's popular right now though. Missing the ridiculous solos of 'Apocalypse...' and the Chaos EP etc.

RedScare (February 22, 2011)

As their "label idiot", I'm here to tell you that I did not write this review.

I also don't quite follow it, but hey, 7/10 ain't bad!

Fun album, and one of my favorite bands to see play live.

inagreendase (February 22, 2011)

The review was written by their label idiot, its supposed to be tongue in cheek

Wait, what? If you mean exactly what this says, you're pretty far off considering I was the one that commissioned it to a reviewer.

Rastid (February 22, 2011)

saw these guys with direct hit! and mixtapes in chicago. they ruled. need to pick this up.

ncarlber (February 22, 2011)

While I do miss Ryan's Hope, this was a great listen.

The review was written by their label idiot, its supposed to be tongue in cheek

drunkwithpower (February 22, 2011)

I hate bands with hokey "comedy" lyrics, leave that shit for Weird Al. I honestly can't imagine listening to an entire record of this band's material.

NIVEK82 (February 22, 2011)

Great Album, Shit review.

How can someone not like Ryan's Hope?

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