The Shocker - Up Your Ass Tray [reissue] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Shocker

Up Your Ass Tray [reissue] (2006)

Go Kart

Soon after L7's popularity peaked, bassist Jennifer Finch hit the road. She stayed out of the spotlight for a few years -- mind a couple small projects -- but after a friend of hers died in a car accident, she was inspired to write music and start up a band. And that band is the Shocker. Wow, what a memorial.

Finch takes the reins here, and her lyrics do the band in. Sexual innuendos and bad puns make up the majority of the words, and will cause you to cringe in disbelief more often than they will shock you. Perhaps your mom would be shocked to find out what their symbol is all about, and perhaps your 14-year-old male cousin would find the album's title hilarious, but the rest of us will just have to wonder what would possess a group of people to create an album like this twice.

You see, this album is really just the 2003 Up Your Ass Tray EP the band already released, plus five songs and minus the cover. When you're sittin' on a song like "Bad Brain Good Head" for that long and you still think it's gold, enough to include the re-do "Good Head Again" once more in the re-release, it makes me question your sense of humor. Other song titles like "My Life as a Plumber" and "The Wind Beneath the Wings of the Common Fly" let you know what little gems you're in for.

The music is decent snotty punk rock, like opener "Cash In" which is a rockin' bouncy romp full of back-and-forth male/female vocals with frequent shouts of "cash out / let's go!" "Pop Narcotic" is pretty catchy in an untraditional way, retaining its guts. "Your Problem Now" has a cool effect in the bridge where the little whiny guitar lead is doubled with whiny vocals for a humorous (I believe intentional) effect. These songs all happen to be less immature lyrically, which gives them an advantage right off the bat. Unfortunately, they are not in the majority, and they really aren't that super anyway.

The Vandals and Blink used to be my shit, but these days I need a little more substance in my lyrics, or at least not such blatant badness. I still enjoy funny lyrics, but these aren't funny, or shocking for that matter, and the music isn't good enough for me to ignore the words.