[spunge] - Greatest Hit......S (Cover Artwork)


Greatest Hit......S (2013)


For their 7th studio album, Greatest Hit......S, [spunge] decided to re—record a bunch of their songs handpicked by their fans.

The intro to the first track is highly reminiscent of Stiff Little Fingers' "Alternative Ulster", but don't let that fool you as they soon kick into straight up ska—punk. Horns are barely present though, only making a fully fledged appearance later on in the animal—abusive and frustrated "Kicking Pigeons".

The self—referential "Lyrical Content" sets the tone: "it may not be up there with J.R.R Tolkien / but at least you don't need a PhD to understand what I mean". This humorous take on things remains throughout, even when a political aspect is explored say in "Whitehouse" ("I'm standing at the corner of the street, / got a sign that says I need to eat, / but you just walk on by, no, you can't look me in the eye") or "Jump On Demand" ("remember when you're being rude that we're the ones that cook your food, so just take care / 'cause i know it might offend if we were to go and send you chicken a la pubic hair"); and when the tone gets more personal as in "Backstabber", "Friend Called Fred" or "Ego" ("My ego's got so big lately / Swear that you could see it standing on another planet"). "Skanking Song" manages to somehow combine haircut advice and Vandals references with its earworm of a chorus: "this is a skanking song, its a skanking song, / and you cant go wrong if you skank along, / it's a skanking song, its a skanking song".

The carefree lifestyle takes its toll though in "Live Another Day", which details a struggle with the drink, and "Home Video" which features the shameful consequences of getting drunk and naked and recording what happens next on tape... A couple of breakup songs also come during the second half of the album, namely "Angel With A Pint Glass" and "Change of Scene" ("When she first came into the bedroom I'd say / Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah / But that backfired cause she likes her girlfriend better so / Nah nah nah nah nah nah").

The catchy "Roots" serves notice to whoever might let time or success get in the way of their past friendships, while "Some Suck Some Rock" boisterously shoots down everything from gangsta rap and boy bands, to nu metal and even their own beloved genre ("ska punk's just a big joke"). Two covers also appear in the form of a modified "No Woman No Cry" (changing the message to "you've got no woman, don't cry"), and a rendition of "Centerfold" as the closing track.

This collection of tunes is pretty neat for anyone newly discovering the band (as I was when I first picked it up), and I've kept it in regular rotation for the last month or so.