Parasites - Retro-Pop Remasters (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Retro-Pop Remasters (2006)

Go Kart

I've got a good friend who refuses to listen to anything except his Ramones, Screeching Weasel and Queers records. Once in a while I've been able to sneak on the Vapids and occasionally I've been able to trick him into admitting he likes the Mr. T. Experience. He's got his homemade studded belt that he made 10 years ago in high school, what at one point was an Operation Ivy shirt but is now simply a black shirt, and Chucks. Now my friend doesn't "up the punx" or attempt to be a part of any scene -- he just knows what he likes and sticks with it.

Last week I was riding with him in his car when I was ignorant enough to try and pass off Parasites as some new and terribly overlooked band. Was I ever wrong -- three seconds into "Ronnie Is a Psycho" homeboy starts patting the steering wheel and singing along as though he'd heard the song a thousand times. Truth is, he's heard it more than a thousand times -- as has anyone who has been paying attention to this seemingly fledging, yet surprisingly passionate scene.

After forming in 1987 Parasites released seven full-lengths as well as 20 EPs and seven-inches before disbanding. Retro-Pop Remasters represents what's said to be the best of the band's songs and was compiled in preparation for a reunion tour and upcoming album of new material that should be out within the next 12 months.

Parasites borrow from an era in which it wasn't fashionable to sing about heartache and love lost all the while accompanied by snotty vocals and three-chord melodies. The beauty with Parasites is in the surface-simplicity. They never treaded new ground or wrote amazingly complex compositions. However they took what they loved out of Ramones-esque love songs and added their own sharp biting flavor to the mix.

With a consistently changing lineup and a number of breakups behind them, it might be easier to love the songs than it is to love the band. Either way, this greatest-hits compilation is a decidedly appropriate purchase for anyone who can relate to my good buddy.