Rosematter - Shooter's Gonna Choke (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Shooter's Gonna Choke (2007)

Oort / Lobster

The booty call: at once both one of mankind's most enlivening and guilty of pleasures. A chance to escape the seriousness and consequential shortcomings of the real world for 30-45 minutes of bare satisfaction. The sonic typification of this phenomena is Shooter's Gonna Choke, the Oort / Lobster Records debut from York, PA's female-fronted pop-punkers Rosematter.

The wit and whim of the album's jocular disposition is evident before a single note is transmitted through the speakers. Bearing the clean and unsullied golf motif on the album's cover, four dudes (one with his slacks around his ankles) and one chick (armed with a hockey stick), Shooter's Gonna Choke brazenly cozens a familiarity to a certain mid-`90s Sandler flick. But Happy isn't the only past-prime personality referenced, when songs like "Chuck Norris Jokes Aren't Funny Anymore," "Anyone Who Hates John Hinckley Doesn't Understand True Love" and even the lovable Jewish mouse in "Pull a Fievel and Go West," get procured into pieces of the Shooter's Gonna Choke contrivance.

Straddling the border between endearing pop-punk and some variety of only moderately weighted emo, Rosematter resemble a female-fronted counterpart of something like Spitalfield or Halifax. Though not patently complex, the music delivered is far from the standard three-chord punk of poppy Ramones derivatives, and equipped with multi-part structures and an impressive command of songwriting. These feats shine through in standout tracks like "Do Re Egon" and "Being Brave Usually Means Having Your Adult Teeth Knocked Out," the titles of which sadly do not correspond to the songs at all, the only disappointing aspect of the otherwise beguiling posture. The former features playful jabs at some of the genre's most manifest clichés: "Everybody's always singing from rooftops / Everybody wants to stay the same."

"Chuck Norris Jokes Aren't Funny Anymore" (a followup to their 2006 tune "Chuck Norris Doesn't Sleep, He Waits"?) is a fairly indicative sample of vocalist Katie Kolo's range, which is impressive, though at times a trifle histrionic. At times, she seamlessly strings together catchy and cute hooks, and other times it seems as if shorter and more concise spurts of melody might work better. Regardless, high-energy tracks like "I Bet She Gives Great Helmet" keep the album lively and agreeable.

It's not to say that Rosematter doesn't have the potential for staying power, but it's certainly suited best for a momentary breather from the gravity and hardness of the bulk of the punk scene. Packed with fun, audacity and an inkling of urgency, Shooter's Gonna Choke has everything a satisfying booty call can offer.