Sass Dragons - Bonkaroo! (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Sass Dragons

Bonkaroo! (2008)

Johann's Face / Let's Pretend

Sometimes when I drive home from work, eyes bleary from filing files that need to be filed into a file system for filed files and brain lukewarm from too many energy drinks and too little sleep, I start babbling. No one can hear me with the windows up, which is good because I often just start shouting, "I'm gonna fuck your shit / gonna shit your fuck" over and over. I don't know why. I think it's because of all the time spent living in an alphabetized limbo (this job is too easy for me to call it a hell). It's all stream of consciousness with little meaning.

And that's pretty much what Sass Dragons' Bonkaroo! sounds like. The album is 16 tracks of ranting and raving, over-spastic pop-punk. You could compare it to the Dwarves, the Queers and/or Screeching Weasel if you like. But mostly it just sounds like dudes going insane from smoking too much weed and working too many shitty jobs. Luckily, Sass Dragons are the kind of guys who don't mellow out on marijuana. Nay -- they get super, super amped. Like rob a bank and then eat an entire cheesecake and then make love to the sun amped.

Bonkaroo!'s best tracks are about work and its associated suckiness. Album opener "Explode Alamode" is pretty catchy with its bass-heavy verses and distorted power chords chorus. "Workhorse" is another standout, with its goofy "Boo chicka ow" vocal opening. "'Cause it's so boring to be at work on time / I'd much rather work from noon 'til one instead of nine to five" goes the chorus, and I pretty much agree.

But while Sass Dragons make some rough but catchy pop-punk, Bonkaroo! gets a little old near the end. Much like your ninth beer, you can't really appreciate the taste anymore. Still, though, the record is only a half-hour, so it's not too oppressive or repetitive length-wise. Plus, there are some memorable songs buried in the mix.