The Scaries - Wishing One Last Time (Cover Artwork)

The Scaries

Wishing One Last Time (2000)

Route 14

The Scaries developed in the same Chapel Hill music scene as Superchunk, albeit a few years later. However, while Superchunk is a preeminent indie rock band, The Scaries roots are firmly in pop-punk. While that is a dirty word to many, they are head and shoulders above their peers.

For the most part, The Scaries are musically similar to most punk bands, complete with palm muted rhythm guitars, simple bass lines, and heavy bass drum. However, the lead guitarist (Bill) is easily one of the best in punk today. Sounding straight from a metal album (in a good way), he adds a lot to almost every track, differentiating the band from the countless generic Blink-182's of the world. Also, Mike Scary (great name) excels as a vocalist and lyricist, as well as being a hell of a nice guy. Without a trace of nasally slurring or a fake British accents, he simply belts out songs with melody and emotion. The songs themselves either vie away from the standards of youthful angst and puppy or at least handle them in a fairly mature manner. Lyrics like "you laid against the door/ kept your distance/ why is everything so hard when there's nothing going wrong?" ring with emotion and truth.

Starting with the stellar "800 Miles," Wishing One Last Time blasts through eleven songs in under a half hour. While it can be slightly repetitive at times, it is a fun blast of punk that will have you nodding your head and singing along within a few spins. Other standout tracks include "Hate the Summer" and "Pushing Me Away," with the only possible misses being the final two tracks; the pop-punk/ emo requisite acoustic track and the electric version of the same song. This CD may not change anyone's life, but it is a fun, catchy half hour romp I recommend to anyone who enjoys melodic punk and would like to help a great underground band start making enough money to quit working at Kinkos.