Dance Hall Crashers - Purr (Cover Artwork)

Dance Hall Crashers

Purr (1999)

Pink & Black

This isn't the most recent album from the So-Cal pop-punk-ska act, but it seems that compared to their other work, this album gets ignored. Now granted, DHC aren't the punkest band on the planet, and they are far from pure ska, but they are a solid act. Rising from the ashes of the great ska-punk act Operation Ivy (a fact people cite all to often, considering Tim and Matt were in DHC for an extremely short time, and it was far from the same band) DHC has forged a ska sound that has yet to be imitated. Dual female vocals, mid tempo punk-pop and itchy ska may not sound particularly innovative, but DHC make it work in an interesting way. "Purr" is perhaps the punkiest record this band has made. That is not suprise, considering that the producer was none other than Fat Mike, who's FAT label is also distributing the album. "Purr" starts off with a radio-friendly punk number, "Beverly Kills". A scathing message, but easy on the ears at the same time. The rest of the CD follows suit. Most of the songs have a ska-ish upbeat, the most notable being "Everything to Lose", "Nothing Left to Say", and "Won't be the Same". There are some clunkers on here. Songs like "Just Like That" and "The Real You" are kind of boring, and just get in the way. The album ends on a curious note, with an acoustic ballad called "Cricket". Its a good song, not my favorite on here, but it shows DHC have skills that transcend the tired ska-punk genre. This album is certainly not their best, but it is way more focused then their previous studio effort, "Honey I'm Homley", which ran too long and had seemed lazy in parts, IMHO. One last note about the band-unlike most female fronted ska-pop-punk bands (i.e. Save Ferris, Whats Your Problem Brian, and the decidedly unska No Doubt) DHC cater to both males and females, instead of aiming to appeal to just the female fans. This isn't good or bad-its just a fact, and one of many differences that help DHC to stand out in their lagging genre.