Die Hunns - You Rot Me (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Die Hunns

You Rot Me (2006)


Growing up, Duane Peters was one of my idols. My older brother was heavy into the skatepunk scene, and with that introduced me to what could be the "1st wave" of skatepunk. Bands like Black Flag, Bad Religion, TSOL, Dead Kennedys, Descendents and so on were essential to any mix tape for the boombox you'd bring to whatever spot you were gonna try to skate. Mind you, this was prior to every town in America having its own skatepark, and, not to get all Mike Ness on you, but when skateboarding was a crime.

Duane was the bridging gap for those of us just as interested in the music as the skating. The U.S. Bombs were huge with me. Soon, I left skating for BMX, and grew into the closely associated genre of hardcore. But I'd always go back to the Bombs. The World remains one of my favorite albums to this day. But as each release seemed less urgent in sound to me, my tastes began to wonder. I recently received a copy of You Rot Me, and decided to take another shot.

You Rot Me is a very interesting hybrid of sounds, styles, genres and attitudes, all mixed into a very mellow rock album. Hints of everything from the Rolling Stones, to surf rock, to `77 street punk can be picked out. I guess the best description would be "smokey-bar garage punk." Foot-tappin' tunes that can be played from start to end with no filler.

Maybe the most impressive component of You Rot Me is the varying tempos, instrumentation and vocal stylings contained within each song. Tracks like "Mad Society" point to the earliest roots of punk, basic midtempo riffs with snotty vocals and heavy choruses, where others like the title track seem to play off heavier influences like the Clash, with its bouncy and spacier vibe. "Rock N' Roll Boulevard" embodies what much of today's garage rock can only hope to achieve. With its smooth, extended instrumental opening, to Duane's opening vocals and the infectious chorus, this is my definite favorite on the album.

Initially, I was bothered by the lack of urgency and spit-in-your-face attidude in the vocals, but "47th Street" sedated that need, closely resembling Peters' work of yesteryear and even tossing in a distortion-infused guitar solo for good measure.

When stripped down to basics, You Rot Me is a rock album, influenced by a plethora of influences collected throughout the years. You're not going to find a ground-breaking album of pure musical innovation, but I doubt that was the aim. But if you pay attention, you'll find an honest album that will remind you of why you like rock music and true spirit it embodies.