Pain - Midgets With Guns (Cover Artwork)


Midgets With Guns (1996)


I first heard of Pain on the local college station 89.9 KGRG. KGRG were such Pain fanatics that Pain even thanked them in the liner notes of one of their albums. Needless to say, what I heard on the radio when I first heard a song called "Square Pegs", I spent a while actually trying to classify quirky Florida band known as Pain.

"Well, they have horns, so they must be ska." Not quite. Granted, Pain does have a horn section, but they lack all of the other fundamentals of ska, not to mention I read a rant on their website where one of the band members says he hates ska, and that Pain isn't ska. "Well, they are being reviewed for, so they must be punk." Once again, not quite.

So than what "is" Pain? I have come to classify Pain as, put simply, Pain. They are a genre all in their own with no rivals. Their second full length album "Midgets With Guns" showcases the talents and quirkyness of Pain excellently. The album begins with "Pose Ode" and the reason for why Pain is Pain. "Pose, pose, why do suppose that Pain is our name? Because that's what we chose and life without Pain is a long endless chain of errors repeated again and again." After the little intro of "Pose Ode", Pain launches frantically into "Milk", the tale of how not to get beaten up. The lyrics are one of the biggest aspects of Pain, they have sung about things from bottle rocket wars and being in a band to love songs of little people inside of us with guns.

"Square Pegs" begins with some guitars and horns and a little bit of "hey hey hey". Like it says, "it's the kind of song you want to bring home to your mom", and it is true. I have yet to find a person that doesn't like Pain – save for those who absolutely hate anything they perceive to be ska.

In the end, Pain is Pain, I have never found anyone who comes close. They are excellent live, and I am not sure if they are even being Pain anymore. But for an album that not only mentions Henry Rollens, but also Ash from Army of Darkness (as if there is anyother?!), the two coolest, most bad-ass guys in the universe, Pain is definitely the kind of music you want to take back to your mom. Also check out their two following albums, "Wonderful Beef" and "Full Speed Ahead".