I was first intriguied by Good Clean Fun when Ronald Reagan died and Pastepunk's Jordan Baker wrote a short obituary saying that if that president was a punk rock group, he'd be Good Clean Fun. Interested, i scoured the net, finally finding a link to their homepage, to which I heard "Who Shares, Wins."
What was interesting about the song was that it was straight up youth crew hardcore, no European metal influences in sight and huge choruses meant to be shouted out in basement shows or VFW halls, but with a bit of a twist, as demonstrated in "Who Shares, Wins:"
If I want to make cookies and you have the tins then we'll bake together cuz who shares wins / if I want to bowl and you have the pins then we'll bowl together cuz who shares wins / If I have the helmets and you have the Schwins then we'll bike together cuz who shares wins...THE SONG WAS FUNNY. I don't want to sound like a burned out, jaded scenester, but Good Clean Fun was a breath of fresh air. Hardcore is notorious for taking itself terribly seriously, and Good Clean Fun didn't at all.
Sure, it had its serious moments as "Next Year In Jerusalem," "Song For The Ladies," and "My Best Friends" proves, but the highlights were the ones where Good Clean Fun just had fun, like "Vegan Revolution Draft Dodger Anthem," "The Ice Cream Man Cometh," "In Defense Of All Life And Loserdotcom."
But it would all be for naught if the songs sucked. They didn't. True, it was youth crew hardcore with a straight edge bent, but they did it well. It wasn't derivative, but you knew where it came from. By no means was Good Clean Fun new or innovative, but it was powerful and fast, a lot like their much celebrated contemporaries in Kid Dynamite, but straight edge.
The lyric sheet actually includes the lyrics to every song. It's all done in a tongue in cheek way, on one page, with stuffed animals dressed up like the moshing ninjas at shows. As an added bonus, the songs were all remastered so they sound clear as day.
In short: it's a solid retrospective any way you cut it, a complete discography of an unfairly underrated group.