Joey Cape / Tony Sly - Acoustic (Cover Artwork)

Joey Cape / Tony Sly

Acoustic (2004)

Fat Wreck Chords

I remember hearing about this project a few months ago and as an old fan I was little bit skeptical of how it would turn out. While Joey Cape and Tony Sly are in my opinion, two of the best songwriters in punk, I wasnt sure that it would be anything more than just slowed down versions of the same old songs...just without the rest of the band. But when Fat posted the track listing and a couple mp3's I knew this album was going to be something special. "Violins" and "Justified Black Eye" were amazing and I was eager to hear the rest of the album, which is comprised of what used to be fairly heavy songs in their original incarnations.

A lone piano starts the album, reminiscent to Pennywise' s "Unknown Road", but instead of a driving guitar interrupting, a lone acoustic guitar slowly fades in and Tony Sly starts off the album with "International You Day", a beautiful arrangement of my favorite song off of "Hard Rock Bottom" complete with strings a tambourine and awesome backing vocals. Tony continues the same successful formula as as he goes through classics such as "Not Your Savior", "Exit", "Justified Black Eye" and a new song "Stunt Double". Tony saves the best for last though. "On the Outside" is totally reinvented into something that is hard for me to put into words. Accapella vocals singing harmony, and a muffled bass drum make this song sound darker than ever. Hands down, My favorite of Tony's Tracks.

Next up Joey Cape starts things right. Strings accompany "The Caper" in a stripped down version of "Move Your Car". Next up is an awesome arrangement of "Violins" simple, yet so sweet. I especially love the accordion. I was really eager to hear the next track, "Tragic Vision", from "Duh". Gone are the lighting fast drums and dual guitar licks. Instead we are left with a song that I cant help but think reminds me of "California dreamin" by the Mamas and Pappas. Maybe Its just the flute, but this is definately a great track...only to be outdone by the next one "Twenty Seven" from "Double Plaidinum. A piano, a guitar and Joe. Once again a simple combination with stunning results. Joey finishes off the album with "Wind in your sails" and a new one entitled "Violet". I have to admit, I have been blown away by this album. Even though this album is made up of mostly old songs, both artist manage to reinvent them into something fresh, something new, something you'll be able to sit down and enjoy for years to come. So before you go and reach for that punk goes acoustic album, oick this one up instead. I promise you will not be disappointed by poorly produced vesions of songs that sound like they were recorded in a tin can. This album is truly a masterpiece.

Justified Black Eye