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Me First and the Gimme Gimmes - Love Their Country (Cover Artwork)

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes: Love Their CountryLove Their Country (2006)
Fat Wreck Chords

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


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

I've always felt that country and punk music shared a common bond: both draw from personal experiences displayed in a raw, no-holds barred form of expression. Of course, both also have the their respective "dark sides" of cliché lyrics, ridiculous costumes and obnoxious fans. It must be nice, to.
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I've always felt that country and punk music shared a common bond: both draw from personal experiences displayed in a raw, no-holds barred form of expression. Of course, both also have the their respective "dark sides" of cliché lyrics, ridiculous costumes and obnoxious fans.

It must be nice, to be a member of a successful band such as Lagwagon, NOFX, Foo Fighters or Swingin' Utters AND find the time to jam out with some friends, turning classics from every genre into punk rock tunes that to the untrained ear sound like they aren't covers. So, with their sixth full-length, the Gimmes tackle the world of country music with Love Their Country.

In true Me First fashion, the emphasis placed on the songs is high-paced, yet consistently melodic. Maybe the most interesting facet of the Gimmes is how vocalist Spike Slawson interprets the lyrics with such a personal and seemingly honest approach. While many see the band as nothing more than a joke, his contributions are always a highlight of the release.

Kicking off the album is a rendition of mainstream country favorite, and open opponent of the used-CD selling business, Garth Brooks' "Much Too Young." It opens with some twangy guitar work, but immediately bolts into the quickened tempo you expect, complete with a backing chorus of 'oh's and 'ahh's from Joey and Mike. How they were able to get Garth to agree to this will baffle me for years. Money talks, bullshit walks, I guess.

The fun part of any Me First album is trying to pick out the classic punk samples they've incorporated into the covers -- a "cover within a cover," if you will. And I'm lousy at it. Everything sounds like Bad Religion to me, and the only one I will attempt to make a guess at is Johnny Lee's "Lookin' for Love," with an intro from Bad Religion's "Fuck Armageddon, This is Hell?" I'm probably wrong, but whatever. A brief look over at a place where anyone can post what they want and call it "fact" cites Willie Nelson's "On the Road Again" using the riff of "Astro Zombies" by the Misfits, while "East Bound and Down" includes some of the Damned's "Love Song." I'll take your word for it.

Personally, I enjoyed the take on the Dixie Chicks' "Goodbye Earl." I've yet to hear the original, but the mid-tempo pace combined with the well-harmonized chorus make this track one of those songs that can get stuck in your head for days. As a fan of the Burt Reynolds epic adventure "Smokey and the Bandit," including Jerry Reed's "East Bound and Down" (complete with voiceover intro) adds even more points. Though I feel more could have been done with such a legendary song, it's fair to say it was given a rightful rendition.

In the crooning department, we have the Eagles (who I refuse to acknowledge as country) track "Desperado" and Kenny Rogers' "She Believes in Me." Both offer the enthusiastic vocals from Spike, which really tread the line of sarcasm and truly inspired. The only track that appears to offer the expected silliness of the Gimmes would be their swing at Hank Williams' (the Sr., not that Monday Night Football spokesman) "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry." Complete with bagpipes, and what sounds like a pseudo-Scottish impersonation, it's a fun listen.

What I concluded with Love their Country is that Me First is experiencing an identity crisis. The band is obviously known for their silly antics and fun takes on all realms of music, but their latest seems to take more of a serious angle on how they transform the material. The track that might represent this ideal the most would be Johnny Cash's "Sunday Morning Coming Down." Serious and quirky, the band's personal recognition and relation to the song is obvious. I really enjoyed this album and see myself finding high replay value in it, but I think that what most fans are looking for with Me First is wacky antics on popular culture, and this album is seriously lacking in that department. You decide how important that is to you. I dig it.

 

 
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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.
Uppie (November 1, 2006)

"i am always amazed at the stupidity of some people on this site. anyways just in case you didnt get the memo, people talking shit about dead people isnt in. indeed, get a life."

I hope that wasn't directed towards me? I'm a huge Waylon Jennings fan and I honestly think Me First and the Gimme Gimmes should have done a cover of one of his songs. Good Hearted Woman would have been a good choice.

Anonymous (October 31, 2006)

i am always amazed at the stupidity of some people on this site. anyways just in case you didnt get the memo, people talking shit about dead people isnt in. indeed, get a life.

Uppie (October 30, 2006)

They really should have done a cover of a Waylon Jennings song.

Anonymous (October 30, 2006)

is it me or does Annies Song sound like Lagwagons Brodeo??? I think it is.

Anonymous (October 30, 2006)

No mention that the lyrics to Ghost Riders is a nod to Brokeback Mt

someone-yeah (October 30, 2006)

The first song would be better if it stayed being a country song. The jump to punk halfway through sounds really forced imo

Dionesian_Rocker (October 29, 2006)

haha, i love punk mixed with country, anyone remember tha band... uhhh... jackass? whatever, fun stuff! i hope the stop in my town :D

jacknife737 (October 29, 2006)

"In the hierarchy of artistic credibility, the Ironic Punk Cover falls somewhere just below erotic Harry Potter fan-fiction and just above Anne Geddes photography. I‚??d say that it‚??s partially due to the trend of ‚??hilarious‚?Ě ironic covers that punk music has at this point thoroughly lost its good name and ought to be retired forever as a failed social experiment. Some of the foremost purveyors of this tripe, serving only to deteriorate the social value of punk music while hiding behind the incredibly irritating guise of fun-loving wisecrackers are Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. They‚??re formed from the dregs of the worst pop-punk bands in the world, and their entire gimmick is ironic punk covers. They‚??ve released something like five albums, all chock-full of unmitigated worthlessness, and it doesn‚??t look like they‚??ll be stopping anytime soon. Although I usually don‚??t advocate violence, I would be more than happy to see them all carved up like turkeys if it meant that they‚??d finally just shut the fuck up. -SomethingAwful"

Go put on a get up kids album and cry yourself to sleep

Anonymous (October 29, 2006)

In the hierarchy of artistic credibility, the Ironic Punk Cover falls somewhere just below erotic Harry Potter fan-fiction and just above Anne Geddes photography. I‚??d say that it‚??s partially due to the trend of ‚??hilarious‚?Ě ironic covers that punk music has at this point thoroughly lost its good name and ought to be retired forever as a failed social experiment. Some of the foremost purveyors of this tripe, serving only to deteriorate the social value of punk music while hiding behind the incredibly irritating guise of fun-loving wisecrackers are Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. They‚??re formed from the dregs of the worst pop-punk bands in the world, and their entire gimmick is ironic punk covers. They‚??ve released something like five albums, all chock-full of unmitigated worthlessness, and it doesn‚??t look like they‚??ll be stopping anytime soon. Although I usually don‚??t advocate violence, I would be more than happy to see them all carved up like turkeys if it meant that they‚??d finally just shut the fuck up. -SomethingAwful

Rough Translation: "I'm fucking awesome. If I could bend myself over and then deuce on my own chest, I would."

shiyasmomma (October 29, 2006)

Actually... "they guy that made the comment about joey cape and derrick " Is my fucking hero. About time.

Shut the fuck up joey.

Anonymous (October 29, 2006)

In the hierarchy of artistic credibility, the Ironic Punk Cover falls somewhere just below erotic Harry Potter fan-fiction and just above Anne Geddes photography. I‚??d say that it‚??s partially due to the trend of ‚??hilarious‚?Ě ironic covers that punk music has at this point thoroughly lost its good name and ought to be retired forever as a failed social experiment. Some of the foremost purveyors of this tripe, serving only to deteriorate the social value of punk music while hiding behind the incredibly irritating guise of fun-loving wisecrackers are Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. They‚??re formed from the dregs of the worst pop-punk bands in the world, and their entire gimmick is ironic punk covers. They‚??ve released something like five albums, all chock-full of unmitigated worthlessness, and it doesn‚??t look like they‚??ll be stopping anytime soon. Although I usually don‚??t advocate violence, I would be more than happy to see them all carved up like turkeys if it meant that they‚??d finally just shut the fuck up. -SomethingAwful

Anonymous (October 29, 2006)

nice try paul
i said rendition
dont try and catch me on anything to do with the clash cause i will destroy you
haha

Anonymous (October 29, 2006)

"Sunday Morning Coming Down" was written by Kris Kristofferson, not Johnny Cash...though Johnny Cash did do a version of it.

punk_rawker (October 29, 2006)

they guy that made the comment about joey cape and derrick needs to fucking get a life

Anonymous (October 29, 2006)

Such a good album. Maybe not their best from start to finish but the first four songs on this album get the ball rolling better than any of their previous albums.

As much as I hate country music I've always thought punk covers could turn country songs into gold and that's what this cd does.

TIGHT (October 28, 2006)

I don't care if they're a silly band. I quite like the Gimme Gimmes. They're a nostop party

Anonymous (October 28, 2006)

fat mike is gerad way's doppelganger

Anonymous (October 28, 2006)

Skiba on vocals? Interesting.

Gimmes are slipping.

givemeamuseumandillfillit (October 28, 2006)

Paul, not to be a bitch about it, but the comment clearly said "i think that "sunday morning coming down" is supposed to be a sped up version of the clash's RENDITION of "police and thives".

There's nothing worse than someone correcting an error that isn't there.

iconoclast (October 28, 2006)

that was a bad description of wikipedia. the fact that anyone can contribute to it is what keeps each entry in check. people might abuse it, but if you follow the guidelines, only facts are to be posted, with citations if possible.

SlackMFr (October 27, 2006)

I love the Gimmes, this disc is fun (and there's nothing wrong with that).

Anonymous (October 27, 2006)

The vocals sound A LOT like Matt Skiba on some of the songs.

Anonymous (October 27, 2006)

hahahahahaha.........joey cape is a fucking whiny over-sensitive nancy boy. he probably spends his nights curled up with derricks old shirts and sobbing in his bottle of zima.

pastepunk (October 27, 2006)

The covers done by Me First wouldn't qualify as parodies. The notes haven't changed, they've just been "punked up."

Anonymous (October 27, 2006)

"Chris - you don't need to get an artist's/songwriter's permission to do a cover song recording. It's allowed under a compulsory license in the Copyright Act. I forget what the current rate is (between 8 and 10 cents is the best I can remember at the moment, with exceptions for longer songs), but you have to pay that per copy produced to the relevant publishing rights organization. An album full of cover songs can get mighty expensive to do if you're paying full statutory rate, though usually that's not the case. And if the song just happens to be in the public domain (an ever rare occurrence), you're in luck!"

I don't know that much about American Copyright Laws, but isn't there some sort of exemption for parodies? That's what we have in most European copyright legislation... Wouldn't these type of works fall under that category?

Oh yeah and the album is pretty medio-core, except for ghost riders.

Anonymous (October 27, 2006)

I'm so buying this CD for my ride home from Baltimore to Fairfax tonight.

Anonymous (October 27, 2006)

someone should review the latest bloodhoung gang album so that people can be warned against buying it. please don't even listen to it GOD PLEASE DON'T

Anonymous (October 27, 2006)

My favorite Gimme Gimmes album is Blow in the Wind. I love them all though. My only real disappointment with this is the lack of funny liner notes done by Chris Dodge, that are in all the other ones. Love their Country sounds amazing though.

Anonymous (October 27, 2006)

not to be a bitch about it, but you all know 'police and theives' is a Junior Murvin reggae song from the 70's that the Clash covered on their first album. So Me First's interpolation would be a cover of a cover.

Paul

Anonymous (October 27, 2006)

fun as usual...a bit short...and not as enjoyable as when they cover genre's I actually like...I still think 'blow in the wind' and 'have a ball' are their 2 best (thats the 70's one right?). you know, the first one, which is still probably the best.

still fun though. on the road again w/ astro zombies is probably the highlight.

I mean who hasn't wondered what country songs would sound like if they were turned into a mid 90's melodic skate punk song?

Paul

Anonymous (October 27, 2006)

Summary of how the Converge review will go:

"OH NOES!!111 MY FACE IT HAVE BEEN MELTED!111"

tylerdurden8136 (October 27, 2006)

Nice review.

It's simple, this album is just plain fun.

...and the only thing I was able to figure out on my own is that Astro Zombies reference sadly.

Anonymous (October 27, 2006)

i like what this guy said...

"this still isn't a red scare fest review."

amen to that. some please review that mofo. i was there but i cant really remember much past the methadones set...know what i'm sayin?

do it!!!!

mikeinflames (October 27, 2006)

this score is for the gimmes playing toronto nov 30th with the sainte catherines
that show is going to be fanfuckingtastic

MikeStupid (October 27, 2006)

Most fun album of the year, by far. I can't stop listening to it.

pastepunk (October 27, 2006)

>>>How they were able to get Garth to agree to this will baffle me for years. Money talks, bullshit walks, I guess

Chris - you don't need to get an artist's/songwriter's permission to do a cover song recording. It's allowed under a compulsory license in the Copyright Act. I forget what the current rate is (between 8 and 10 cents is the best I can remember at the moment, with exceptions for longer songs), but you have to pay that per copy produced to the relevant publishing rights organization. An album full of cover songs can get mighty expensive to do if you're paying full statutory rate, though usually that's not the case. And if the song just happens to be in the public domain (an ever rare occurrence), you're in luck!

Anonymous (October 27, 2006)

Excellent review.

Fun album, and indeed these country guys have things in common with punkers. Little bit country, and a little bit rock'n'roll... See, there is hope!

stuxmusic (October 27, 2006)

"i think that "sunday morning coming down" is supposed to be a sped up version of the clash's rendition of "police and thives".....it sounds like the bass line sped up really fast and then the one guitar play strokes down and stops and the other goes up and stops like in the clash tune"

I was about to say that. It's the most obvious one to spot.

Good Album, but i'm less familiar with some tracks as compared to earlier gimmes stuff.

Anonymous (October 27, 2006)

Here's what the review should of been:

If you like them you'll like it.

You coulda saved some bandwidth on all those text characters.

JerryCola (October 27, 2006)

there's no way they're trying to make it sound like Fuck Armaggedon at the start of that song, it's not even anywhere close.

The Damned and Misfits ones are uber-obvious though.

sickboi (October 27, 2006)

I definitely hear Misfits and Damned, but can someone please tell me how "Lookin' For Love" sounds anything at all like "Fuck Armageddon, This is Hell"???

Like I said, I suck at this, but the intro reminds me of it...

JerryCola (October 27, 2006)

You know at first I was rather cold to this album because I wasn't familiar with any of the original songs unlike with all the other previous Gimme Gimme releases but now that this one has warmed up on me I think it's just as awesome as all the other Gimme Gimme albums.

Godfather (October 27, 2006)

yeah, this album was good for about 10 listens and then i think i just wore it out.....can't wait to see them live, though

GlassPipeMurder (October 27, 2006)

I definitely hear Misfits and Damned, but can someone please tell me how "Lookin' For Love" sounds anything at all like "Fuck Armageddon, This is Hell"???

Anonymous (October 27, 2006)

i think that "sunday morning coming down" is supposed to be a sped up version of the clash's rendition of "police and thives".....it sounds like the bass line sped up really fast and then the one guitar play strokes down and stops and the other goes up and stops like in the clash tune

Anonymous (October 27, 2006)

this still isn't a red scare fest review.

mattp330 (October 27, 2006)

Here is the new Converge reviews, in it's entirety:

"The best album ever recorded by a person, ever."

You're welcome.

pretty much sums it up

cash_money_hustla (October 27, 2006)

These guys, that is.

cash_money_hustla (October 27, 2006)

These need to tour soon.

colin (October 27, 2006)

or the planes mistaken for stars i did... blah. probably converge on a tuesday?

DenBez (October 27, 2006)

Here is the new Converge reviews, in it's entirety:

"The best album ever recorded by a person, ever."

You're welcome.

Anonymous (October 27, 2006)

...And this is suppose to be a replacement for the Converge review or something?

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