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Pansy Division with Jello Biafra - Average Men [7 inch] (Cover Artwork)

Pansy Division with Jello Biafra

Pansy Division with Jello Biafra: Average Men [7 inch]Average Men [7 inch] (2009)
Alternative Tentacles Records

Reviewer Rating: 4


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

My first reaction to this new Pansy Division 7″ was extreme disappointment. Unfounded, but extreme. It was a quick sell at the record store when I came across this single. The back cover lists two songs: "Average Men," the simple and amusing lyrics to which are also present, and "Coming Cle.
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My first reaction to this new Pansy Division 7″ was extreme disappointment. Unfounded, but extreme.

It was a quick sell at the record store when I came across this single. The back cover lists two songs: "Average Men," the simple and amusing lyrics to which are also present, and "Coming Clean," which is credited to B. Armstrong. Jello Biafra, legend of punk, singing a Green Day song from the album that changed my life forever, backed by a band of pop-punk veterans? Count me the fuck in.

Oh, what a sense of "blah" overcame me when I got home and played Side B first. No Jello to be found! It was just a proficient, (slightly) slowed down version of a song I'd already heard a million times before. Which would probably have been fine, if it coulda been Jello instead of some normal singing guy. I found myself wondering if you could return an opened record.

It took three days of intense soul-searching to finally pick it up again and listen to the A-side for the first time. Turns out "Average Men" kicks ass. It's a stomping, rolling rock song, with the touches of menace and humor that you'd expect from Jello, but it has the upbeat pop of `90s Bay Area (see: Lookout! Records). Somehow, it's exactly what I expected while still being incredibly surprising and fresh. It lasts maybe 30 seconds longer than it needs to, but that doesn't keep the song from becoming an instant favorite.

After being so taken with that song, I figured it was worth giving "Coming Clean" another shot. Knowing what to expect this time, I was again surprised by (a) how many subtle changes they actually did make to the song and (b) how much I liked it. It plays well as an introspective counterpart to the more defiant A-side, which is kind of a triumphant refusal of "straight dude stuff" (Pansy Division is a bunch of gay dudes). The instrumentation and vocal delivery add a tenderness to the song and offer up a slight reinterpretation of some choice lyrics ("now mom and dad will never understand…").

So, I guess the moral here is that if you judge a record by its "cover," you should listen to the A-side first.

 

 
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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.
LushJ (March 26, 2009)

On the AT page for this 7-inch, I added the 1995 interview where Billie Joe talks about "Coming Clean" & his sexuality.

http://www.alternativetentacles.com/product.php?pro duct=1646

xote (March 25, 2009)

Havent heard this been but the band rules.

skankin_in_the_pit (March 24, 2009)

The new full length is pretty good. Not the best Pansy DIvision I've heard, but I've been diggin' it the last couple weeks. A few weak tracks, but "Pat Me on the Ass" and "Some of my best friends" are two of their best.

wallofyouth (March 24, 2009)

yeah, but i think the GD song is pretty easily taken as a "growing up" anthem ... i know it was for me in 5th grade ... the PD cover really emphasizes the coming outta the closet theme. especially because they start chanting "20 years of cock and i'm never gonna stop" over and over after the song, heh

oskorei (March 24, 2009)

the artwork of the skeleton coming out of the closet in the liner notes of Dookie was excellent. What balls Greenday had to take PD on tour with them so many years ago. Check out the version of Deep Water on youtube with John Ginoli in the orange shirt outside at some festival. Great version of one of my favorite PD songs.

crackpotdemagogue (March 24, 2009)

score is for "intense soul searching"

meesta3k (March 24, 2009)

If they were clever, "Average Men" would be released on a 6" record.

Cos (March 24, 2009)

You DO realize that "Coming Clean" is about coming out of the proverbial closet (making it a perfect cover for a gay band), right?

kevgren (March 24, 2009)

I just got this in the mail yesterday, along with their new album (not released yet) -- awesome stuff. This is more power pop than their previous material, but I am really liking it. Great band!

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