Counterpunch - Counterpunch (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Counterpunch (2007)

Punch It

Hoo boy, talk about one aspect of the band holding back the rest from greatness. It's frustrating enough for the listener -- I can't imagine how it must feel for the band. Counterpunch's self-titled debut suceeds musically while coming up short lyrically.

Here's what's good about Counterpunch. The production is great. Every instrument is perfectly mixed, which can be difficult to attain on a smaller budget for whatever reason. The band's musicianship is sardine-in-a-tin-can tight, as if they've been playing these songs their entire adult lives. "A Shot from the Hip" is a fun ninety-second burst of pop-punk, and "An Idiot's Guide to Being an Asshole" enters some Ataris-lite territory but managed to hold my attention despite its four-minute length. These guys attended the A Wilhelm Scream school of shredding, too -- there's a lot of harmonics and soloing throughout the record, the drumming is consistently fantastic and the band's three contributing vocalists harmonize exceptionally well.

But the lyrics are just downright stupid and unfunny in some places. Track four, "Al Qaeda Hijacked My Mom's Poussoir" is so mind-blowingly bad it nearly ruins the other ten songs that surround it, and sends any momentum created by tracks one through three to a screeching halt. Here's a little taste of that shit sandwich, whether you want it or not: "Modern science has come so far / Electric scissors a Viagra car / I've got a plan that'll go off without a hitch / For a pill to make my mom less of a bitch / My mom is going insane." I mean...really? It's almost as if that song was included to make the surrounding songs appear lyrically brilliant, when in reality they're just passable.

That one song comes dangerously close to capsizing the ship, but overall this is a solid collection of pop-punk that could yield repeat listens, provided I can reach the skip button at the appropriate time.