Chixdiggit! - Born on the First of July (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Born on the First of July (1998)

Honest Don's

The more money poured into pop-punk, the worse it becomes. About Blink 182’s new album, a Rolling Stone article recently said “Joey Ramone is probably pogoing to (it) right this minute in rock & roll heaven.” I doubt he is. Pop punk is best when thrown together by small bands who are playing because they love the music. The more the industry treats pop-punk like arena-rock, the more it will become arena-rock.

That being said, Calgary’s Chixdiggit! Is a great example of how pop punk should be. Released on Honest Don’s (not even on it’s big-brother Fat Wreck Chords) the album plays like pop punk should: fast, minimalist (simple sounds insulting), and fun. The tongue-in-cheek humour and love songs that one would expect are here. However the heavy production and NOFX-rips that characterizes most pop-punk can’t be found. Also, there is no emo-like song to make the girls (re: consumers) fall in love with the band.

Chixdiggit borrows more from the Ramones then they do from the Queers or NOFX. It’s a very refreshing sound. The band plays like a group of friends having fun, which is what pop-punk bands are before the dollars begin to flow. While KJ Jansen's vocals will surprise you at first (they are SOFT), they fit the band's music surprisingly well. “Sikome Beach,” “Chupacabras,” and “My Restaurant” are light-hearted and enjoyable songs. The best song on the album is unassumingly the Sylvia Hutton cover “Nobody,” which is the unlisted secret song. Wherever he is, I’m willing to assume that Joey Ramone will pogo to this long before any of those “new school” pop-punk bands.

It's not an important album, but it's not trying to be.

- Adam White (Shindo)