Caffiends - No Gods No Decaf (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


No Gods No Decaf (2015)

Anti-Authority Records

Points to Caffiends right away for the album title; it’s always entertaining when bands poke fun at the uber-seriousness and self-righteousness of punk mentality. It’s a quick, obvious play on classic punk records that immediately exposes the band’s modus operandi: an adolescent sense of humor and a winking nod to those that have come before. Further points for audio clips from TV shows like "The Simpsons," "Kroll Show" and "South Park" (and even a Stone Cold Steve Austin quote!) interspersed throughout the album. It’s a trick that feels crass when it’s used too much, but Caffiends do it sparingly, and it fits with the album’s attitude.

Aside from the brief vocal-less introduction, “Anthem for a Shittier Tomorrow,” most of No Gods No Decaf follows a similar format: two minutes or less of upbeat self-described “party pop punk.” The music’s heavily indebted to the EpiFat style, primarily using skate punk tempos, familiar chord structures and simple, melodic lead guitar lines. The occasional horn lead is added for great effect. Brash, snotty vocals deliver lyrics about a succubus, drinking and nachos, though occasionally the band touches on the difficulties of being a partying, directionless punker (“Hello Reality”). But the band’s outlook can best be summed up by the opening lyrics on “Dillinger Four is a Gateway Drug”: “Gotta wanna have fun/ I just wanna get drunk/ disappoint my loved ones.”

There’s not a lot of new ground paved on No Gods No Decaf, but it’s clear that’s never been the intention of the band. Caffiends play funny and fun punk songs, often about stupid bullshit, and that’s refreshing. Sometimes it’s nice to put a pause on serious introspection and railing against the state. Sometimes it’s just fun to listen to a song about hangover farts.