For me, music can be a seasonal thing. Sometimes the bands are seasonal for a reason. For example, I rarely listen to heavy doses of AFI or the Misfits outside of the fall times (though select cuts like “Bullet” can put a smile on my face at any point during the year). Conversely, during summer time I play way more of your pop-punk standards like Snuff (I got their album Demmamussabebonk the first time I went to Hawaii and it will always remind me of that trip), the Queers, Screeching Weasel, and the Lillingtons. Many of these bands are getting back together and releasing records again and touring, so I figured that I’d share an under appreciated pop-punk band who fits in nicely with any of these pop-punk summer bands: Sloppy Seconds.
I first became aware of Sloppy Seconds long ago when I purchased the Nitro Records comp, Deep Thoughts. I really liked the two Sloppy Seconds songs on the album, but always forgot to buy their CDs. About a month ago a friend of mine burned me a copy of their first album Destroyed (calm down, I bought a copy online soon thereafter). Since then I have been tapping my feet and singing along to a pop-punk classic.
Like the aforementioned Queers and Screeching Weasel, Sloppy Seconds play Ramones-influenced punk rock. Where they stand out from their peers is in the unique vocal styling of frontman B.A (I shall attempt to describe his voice as Johnny Rotten mixed with John Fogerty) and their tongue-in-cheek lyrics. Hell, the whole album is tongue-in-cheek as the cover art is a spoof of the KISS album, Destroyer. For an example of their band‘s sense of humor, the first track is entitled “I Don’t Wanna Be a Homosexual,” yet starts off with a sampling of a John Waters film and then goes straight into a nice pro-gay song.
Just as the Clash wrote about what they saw going on around them, Sloppy Seconds deal with their immediate world as well, which consists of porn (there is a touching tribute to `80s porn queen Traci Lords in “Come Back Traci“), strippers, B-rated horror movies, girls, comic books, and partying. Some of my favorite tracks include “I Want ‘Em Dead,“ “I’m Tired of Running from the CIA” which features the classic hook line, “Mars needs women but Mars can wait, cuz I ain’t goin’ to masturbate!” and the song “Blackmail.” The track “So Fucked Up” sounds like it could have influenced the illustrious Andrew W.K. as it is a song about partying hard and the chorus consists of gang vocals shouting “so fucked up!” Also, since the band claims to have derived their name from playing covers, the album features a sweet cover of “Leavin’ on a Jet Plane” that puts Me First and Gimme Gimmes' rendition to shame. However, their cover of the song “The Candy Man,” while amusing on the first listen, quickly becomes a throwaway track. As with any band of this genre, the album, with its bonus tracks, has over 21 songs which gets to be a bit too much. Yet, since the songs are so damn fun it doesn’t really matter.
Now that the sun is out here in northern California and Spring has officially hit, it is time to dust off those fun summer records. Destroyed by Sloppy Seconds is a great album and a much overlooked piece of pop-punk music that any fan of the genre will love, and will definitely come to be part of my seasonal summer rotation.