The Vandals latest effort, Internet Dating Superstuds, is good. Alas, I'm having a really hard time coming up with anything inspired to say. Not, mind you, because this album is bad. Or because the songs suck. It's not. They don't. In fact, there are many elements of this CD that seem to say "This CD is up to par with our past releases and is simply a bunch of new songs for you to listen to, because you like us."
While I doubt that this album will be the one to turn anyone on to the vandals, I can say that I don't think this album will turn people off of the vandals. Let's face it - if you're going to decide they've sold out, or changed, or whatever it is bitter punks do when their sense of being nieve dies - you would have done that several albums ago.
The Vandals generally seem to put their CDs together the same way every time - a quick, fast, hard hitting song has seemingly always taken space number one. IE: Fear of a Punk Planet had Pizza Tran. Live Fast had Let The Bad Times Roll. Look what I almost Stepped in has Behind the Music. This CD has 4 3 2 1 0 -1. It does what the vandals want, gets you set up for the album.
Then there's some amusing filler - Appreciate My Honesty and I'm Becoming You are good, but nothing to cause you to run screaming up to the front of a pit, singing the words, arms above head.
Disproportioned Head is the first song after 43210-1 that really makes a distinctive mark. It's amusing. the music is good. You might say: It rocks out.
But Soccer Mom is where the CD gets interesting. Leave it to the vandals to find things to write songs about that most people just, don't. Like a love affair with a recently divorced, SUV driving soccer mom. Another ammusing, rawkin'-good-time song.
We'll All Get Laid almost makes me think of Live, Fast Diharrea (my personal favorite). It also might be the best song on this CD. Little Weirdo makes you think of that 80s movie featuring John Cuzack, Better Off Dead, where John's little brother escapes the earth while the credits roll. Once agian, the vandals unique creativity and song writing (read as: insanity) shines thru. Go Vandals!
I Can't Wait you may like, if you've been in such a situation. I have. I do. enough about me though. Where's Your Dignity? is an awesome song. A song you will listen to and think "Jesus, where was this song when person A had broken up with person B." it's also a well written, tight song. (I'm trying to come up with an adjective other then rockin, bear with me)
My Brain Tells My Body: Great Song. When I Say You I Mean Me : Another Great Song. The Unseen Tears Of The Albacore: Iffy. The message this song has has been done into the ground.
My Brother Is Gay seems personal to whichever band member wrote the song, so I won't criticize it. It doesn't seem very .. Vandals to me, in that the subject matter has been pretty much done into the ground by other bands. It doesn't have that unique slant or anything. But - musically, it's a really good song.
Lord of the Dance is a good song as well. Deffinately not filler. an excellent last song to end another great effort by the vandals.
If you like the vadals, buy this album.
If you don't, well, I'm sure you'll put your two cents in down below the review. For the record: Shut Up, I don't Care.
If You've never heard the vandals, I wouldn't recommend this as a first. Maybe a fourth. Maybe a fifth.
oh yeah, one more thing: the potential comedy goldmine of the vandals being internet dating superstuds was so amazingly overlooked it makes me nauseous. I mean, the "internet savvy jokes" the art seems to be attempting to make... aren't jokes. I mean, it's slightly, quickly, amusing that the pop-ups cover most of the lyrics. But sense we're talking about punk on a website I'm sure you'll agree that no matter how it's meant to be taken, pop-up ads fucking suck and are the devil and they will never ever get any laughs from anyone, unless its about X-10 cameras and your mom.