Rookie [OH] - A Lot To Live (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Rookie [OH]

A Lot To Live (2005)


The band's name is Rookie, and I know what you're thinking. They must have an interesting take on avant-garde jazz. No, well how about gangsta rap? You'd still be wrong. Surprisingly enough, Rookie are a pop-punk band. After you've recovered from that curveball, I'm sure you'll want to know all about their album, A Lot To Live. It's your lucky day.

From the strumming of the first chord in "Rap Star" (B-Real had no part in this one), it becomes evident to everyone who is not Hellen Keller that this album is going to be pretty abrasive to the ears. The chorus of "Ya I'm a rap star, I'm a rock star, a silly pop star" is the stuff nightmares are made of. I don't know if this is their attempt at "we're so bad it's ironic," but either way, I will slay somebody if I'm ever subjected to that song again. Redemption is as close to this album will provide in the next song, "OK Love," but I still can't shake the feeling that I'm listening to the Riddlin Kids. Lead vocalist Doug Kreitzer has a fairly deep and engaging voice here, not the kind of nasal assault that frequent listeners of pop-punk are used to (Jordan Pudnik, I'm talking to you). The chorus is kind of catchy, but it's nothing that couldn't be found somewhere else with better music to back it up, without a token piano outro to end the song.

The rest of these songs just seem to mold together as one amorphous ball of awful. The guitarists don't necessarily stick to the three-chord formula, but it still manages to seem so completely derivative that you don't want to give them the benefit of the doubt. The drums and bass might as well be non-existent, as the production makes them pretty much an afterthought. You're not off the hook yet though, Rookie.

The fourth track here, "Heartbreaker," is probably the single worst acoustic song I've ever heard. This twangy mass of crap sounds like it's being played on a 45 dollar Kmart guitar. Are they serious with this? A lot of people hate on Chris Carabba and Conor Oberst, but in comparison to this, those men are Jimmy Page and Eddie Van Halen, respectively. And the lyrics actually made my eyes bleed from the sockets upon reading them. I have pictures. "I don't care what my words do, as long as your heart breaks / No, I don't care what happens to you, as long as your heart breaks / … / You'll believe in love because you want to believe in it / not because some idiot made you believe that you were in it."

And 29 minutes after it starts, it ends, and I can stop contemplating suicide methods. I tried to find a redeeming quality here, until I realized getting Hitler approved for sainthood would be a quicker process. I hate being this mean about a record, but if ever it was deserved, it's here. Jesse: I know on a few of my more negative reviews, you said they weren't mean enough; hopefully this will meet the grade.