The Springfields - The Springfields (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Springfields

The Springfields (2002)


Their debut album shows the Springfields at a crossroads. I'm sure there's a band like the Springfields in every local scene: a speedy, irreverent pop-punk act belting out catchy 2 minute songs. Everyone agrees the band could "make it" if they only got their act together and concentrated on their music. That being said, the Springfields are/were one of these bands. There's really no reason for fans of Green Day or the Queers wouldn't dig this.

To their credit, the Springfields avoid most of the pitfalls that have brought me to loath pop-punk lately. Primarily, there is no "cuteness" factor in play at all. The biggest injustice you can inflict on the style is therefore avoided. When Blink-182 proved it was possible to cross-market to the teen-pop crowd, countless followers slowed their sound, cleaned the distortion and started crooning about high-school romances. The Springfields keep their edges refreshingly rough and not once break into a heavy-handed 'emo' song (despite having a song titled "Emo Song," but anyways...). The production is sparse, as it should be, and adds to live energy that permeates the album.. In this respect the Springfields have more in common with the Ramones then the bands that have come in Blink's wake. Cameron's vocals thankfully avoid the... DeLonge-pitch... and sound closer to Matt Skiba of the Alkaline Trio.

Songs like "Runnin' Through My Mind," "Fired," "I Don't Know" or "Outcast" are driving, melodic pop-punk gems. The band has a graphic, un-PC sense of humor that wouldn't seem out of place on a NOFX album, especially in such high-brow poetry as "I Wanna Fuck Britney Speares" or "Fuck Around The Clock." The humor straddles the line between clever and stupid, although its thankfully restricted to minute long bursts that never quite overstay their welcome.

The band proves they're as competent songwriters and musicians as any of the current flock of pop-punk bands. What they need to do now is develop their sound and distinguish themselves from the group. That's the difference between a merely good band and a great band.