Funny Looking Kids - Picture Day (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Funny Looking Kids

Picture Day (1999)


I used to write for my university's newspaper, The Silhouette. I mostly did reviews and interviews, though last year, I also ran and designed the web site. While I was working there, I realized a few things about college reviewers. First of all, they all think they fucking know everything about music. Secondly, they seem to truly relish slamming musicians. I always wrote reviews with the attitude that all independant music should be given some respect, simply for the herculean effort that comes with writing, producing and distributing music without the backing of a huge, faceless conglomerate.

That said, I didn't enjoy this CD. Sorry. It's not so much that the music is derivative. Some of my favourite bands didn't exactly pioneer punk and hardcore. After all, I love a ton of less-than-groundbreaking bands. No one ever accused No Use for a Name of pioneering their sound. But the thing is, No Use managed to put out a better NOFX than NOFX, and that's the very least of what you need to do if you're not striving to be original. Of course, originality is not everything. Everyone respects Fugazi, but I don't hear a lot of them at parties. Even "punk rock" parties.

Funny Looking Kids play a fairly standard blend of ska and punk, inject it with humour, and a little experimentation. Unfortunately, you could have replaced FLK with a lot of bands, and you probably wouldn't have gotten my attention. Musically, the band sounds good, and if they wrote straightforward pop-punk, I might find it less annoying, but ska, generally, has a quick annoyance factor. Years after the Reel Big Fish, the Catch 22s, and a decade after Operation Ivy, not to mention the Clash, you really have to blow me away to get me to listen. And, sorry, but this just didn't accomplish that.