The Capitalist Kids - Lessons on Love, Sharing, and Hygiene [12-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Capitalist Kids

Lessons on Love, Sharing, and Hygiene [12-inch] (2012)

Toxic Pop Records

It's interesting, if not a little weird, listening a band that simultaneously takes influence from Screeching Weasel and its ilk, and yet hates Screeching Weasel (or at least Ben Weasel) so thoroughly. Such is the dichotomy on display on the Capitalist Kids' Lessons on Love, Sharing, and Hygiene. Sure, the group draws equally from the likes of the Mr. T Experience (Dr. Frank Portman even gets a shout out in the liner notes) and MxPx.

"Weasel," a critique of the SW frontman for that one time he made everybody feel awkward, is one of several catchy pop-punk songs found on the record. It's also indicative of something else: The Capitalist Kids remembered that they could write Ramonescore pop-punk tunes that didn't have to be about girls. "Socialism Ain't a Dirty Word" and "Never Fear, Capitalism is Here!" cover politics, as does "I Dreamed I Saw Phils Ochs Last Night," a pseudo-Billy Bragg cover.

Sure, the Kids sing songs about hooking and/or breaking up as well, but they bring a little diversity to the mix. They even drop an epic onslaught in the outro for "Three-Oh." While they're based in a tried ‘n' true formula, the Capitalist Kids throw in the occasional left turn.

That said, this record is still Ramonescore pop-punk. The formula can only be stretched so far, and while the Kids take things in semi-new directions, they still don't reinvent the style. That means the nerdy leanings and repetitive vocal lines that plague the genre overall still apply here. The Kids still do it better than most, but compared to Teenage Bottlerocket and Mean Jeans, they've still got some growing up to do.