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Hey Mike! - Hey Mike! (Cover Artwork)

Hey Mike!

Hey Mike!: Hey Mike!Hey Mike! (2006)
Takeover Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5


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

With independent record labels in a panic over declining sales in the past months, many are taking certain measures to cut costs. One of the cost-cutting strategies has been to scale back on promoting via independent and college radio stations. Having worked with college radio for a number of years .
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With independent record labels in a panic over declining sales in the past months, many are taking certain measures to cut costs. One of the cost-cutting strategies has been to scale back on promoting via independent and college radio stations. Having worked with college radio for a number of years now, I have been saddened to see the tradition of independent record companies working hand in hand with independent, non-commercial radio stations diminish in such a short amount of time. That's why I couldn't have been happier with opening a package from Takeover Records addressed to the radio station, sliding Hey Mike!'s self-titled into the CD player, and receiving the best surprise I'd had in a long time.

Right off the bat I knew I was hearing something great. "This Bag Is Not a Toy" -- a witty wordplay on the serious issue of soldiers returning to the States in bodybags -- launches the record with the blistering skatepunk rhythms and infectious melodies that dominate the 50 minutes of music on the record. Hey Mike! puts the POP in pop-punk, but that only goes so far as the catchy leads and choruses. Outside of say, Green Day, you would be hard-pressed to hear material on a pop radio station as overtly political and with as much conviction as Hey Mike! delivers. Sings lead vocalist Steven Neufeld on "This Bag Is Not a Toy," "'Farewell to you, loved ones,' said the parents who gave their sons / They needed a leader, yet got a deceiver who preys on the believers / [â?¦] / Drafting the poor unsung heroes and hired guns / Update of the morning is that the enemy's storming with illegitimate warning of gunfire / We gotta bury the past / For all the innocent people who lost their lives, light a match."

The next song, "Carry Love" continues the societal inquiries that blends seamlessly with Neufeld's articulated personal introspection. At this point in the record, it's blatantly obvious that somehow or another, Hey Mike! sounds a lot like veteran labelmates Inspection 12, with many of the same lyrical themes, catchy yet bordering on off-key melodies, and even the so-awkward-they're-fun lyrics. There's really nothing wrong with this, as Inspection 12 is a unique and I believe underappreciated band; it simply helps to serve as a reference point. "Textbook Affair" shows the I12 comparisons perfectly with its slightly immature lyrics, killer harmonies, and unique structuring. "I Guarantee" is another of the album's highlights, which would best be described as acoustic skatepunk, an interesting idea that works out great.

It may have been that I went into this album with modest expectations, but I was quite impressed with everything Hey Mike! puts forth. Their throwback-to-the-`90s sound of positive skatepunk is an unexpected yet fresh delivery that is sorely lacking in the scene today. Takeover has certainly taken a risk in signing a band that so clearly does not fit with the gloomy, self-interested muck that other labels are lowering themselves to, but in doing so they've made a fan out of me.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Mad Caddies - Keep It GoingOperation Ivy - Operation IvyInspection 12 - Get RadMxPx - Secret WeaponBorn to Lose - The Dreams of KidsCeremony - Rohnert ParkAmebix - ReduxAttitude Adjustment - The CollectionExecutioner - Hellbound [7-inch]Adams Dagger - Adams Dagger

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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.
Anonymous (April 15, 2007)

"I think it's the negative comments below are pretty funny seeing as how the people who wrote them obviously arent doing shit thats worh being known about. they have nothing better to do than cut people down. They can say whatever they please but in real life the guitarists for HeyMike! would eat them alive all day.Namely Steven and Brandon.Ben plays in Brandon's place now and he's no spring chicken either."

as a matter of fact, you are right. oh my gosh, I have been so wrong all these years; at first I thought that bands were supposed to be held up to standards, and fairly high ones at that. well, thanks for enlightening me. now I will spend my money on every band that plays better guitar than a monkey.

gosh, just thinking about how right you are makes me realize that bands shouldn't have to be original. in fact, the only thing they need are their valiant internet message board defenders such as yourself. my hat is off to you sir.

android (April 15, 2007)

this album is awesome.kinda reminds me of the "in recovery" from inspection 12...

PervyD (April 15, 2007)

"The singer/guitarist for this band was in Craig's Brother for awhile and so was their drummer."

Dude, how many bands on Takeover have a member that used to be in Craig's Brother?

almostpunkenough (April 15, 2007)

pretty fuckin awesome stuff right here.... think i'm gonna get this.

Anonymous (April 14, 2007)

Score's for mentioning Inspection 12. Damn shame that band wil never be as huge as they should be.

Anonymous (April 13, 2007)

I think it's the negative comments below are pretty funny seeing as how the people who wrote them obviously arent doing shit thats worh being known about. they have nothing better to do than cut people down. They can say whatever they please but in real life the guitarists for HeyMike! would eat them alive all day.Namely Steven and Brandon.Ben plays in Brandon's place now and he's no spring chicken either.

Anonymous (April 13, 2007)

they picked bad songs for their myspace page. definitely check out the ones in the review.

Anonymous (April 13, 2007)

I'll admit, the whole "throwback to 90s skatepunk" line made me go check this out. Last I checked, Simple Plan weren't a 90s skatepunk band... that's exactly who this sounds like.

Anonymous (April 13, 2007)

score is for the album
i definitely dont hear a throwback to 90s skatepunk. all i hear is overproduced pop bullshit.

danperrone (April 13, 2007)

almost as bad of a name as ryan's hope

GlassPipeMurder (April 13, 2007)

Yes, I believe Ben Harper is now in this band, though I don't think he played on this record.

Anonymous (April 13, 2007)

BEN???

Anonymous (April 13, 2007)

I'm going to check out some stuff off this. I12 is underappreciated.

The singer/guitarist for this band was in Craig's Brother for awhile and so was their drummer.

Anonymous (April 13, 2007)

yeah, since we all know punk is all about experimentation, douchebag. i think this stuff is cool. def. better than most shit that's popular now.

Anonymous (April 13, 2007)

oh my god. a 90's-sounding skate/pop punk sounding band. that is so original. I am shocked that a band could possibly be original. for the past five hours, I have been reassuring myself, saying "oh my God, this cannot be possible; no band can be that creative". then I look back at the screen, and Hey Mike, with their limitless conceptual talent, stares back at me, saying "be prepared for something that isn't totally hackneyed"

once again, to emphasize; these guys are super original.

MikeStupid (April 13, 2007)

Hey.

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