Squirtgun - Broadcast 02.09.08 (Cover Artwork)


Broadcast 02.09.08 (2008)

Kid Tested / Go Kart

After a nearly six-year silence, Squirtgun is back with its first-ever live album. The disc shows that the band is still in top form, as fast and furious as ever. The amazing musicianship on this release shows why Squirtgun rhythm section Mass Giorgini (bass) and Dan Lumley (drums) has been tapped for so many other legendary bands (they were also the beat behind Screeching Weasel and Common Rider, to name just two examples). But that is not to imply that they can only play one style, as the straight and mid-tempo 1-2-3-4 techniques that Lumley used in his Riverdales recordings are nowhere to be heard on this disc. The drums are blazing fast, and switch from ska to hardcore to pop-punk in an instant, and never miss a beat.

The bass playing is even more amazing. There simply can't possibly exist a better punk rock bass player in the world than Mass Giorgini. Sure, he has his competitors -- especially in the form of Matt Freeman (also a former bandmate of Common Rider singer Jesse Michaels), but on this album Giorgini certainly sets a standard that is hard to match, especially on the songs "Make It Wreck" and "Headache All Day." But all of this is not meant to take away from the singing or guitar playing, which is also solid and competent.

For those familiar with the Squirtgun catalog, Broadcast 02.09.08 runs like a virtual "Greatest Hits" of the band, and even includes a few bonuses, especially their cover of "Classics of Love," which was originally recorded by Giorgini and Lumley's former band Common Rider. Another gem is the new song "Across the Wire," which was previously unreleased, and features some guest appearances by friends of the band singing in Spanish.

Broadcast 02.09.08 also includes some inspiring words by author Luis Alberto Urrea on the band in the booklet. Urrea, a Pulitzer Prize Finalist, was the author of the novel Across the Wire, which inspired the new Squirtgun song featured on the disc. The CD also includes liner notes by Giorgini, who in addition to being a prodigious bassist is a legendary music producer (he has worked with Alkaline Trio, Rise Against and Anti-Flag, to name just a few of his production efforts).

To be painfully honest, Squirtgun's studio efforts usually left one hoping for a bit more, with the possible exception of 2003's phenomenal Fade to Bright. However, this disc combines the studio-level musicianship the band is so sought after for with a live energy that could never be captured on any studio recording. I don't hesitate to call this Squirtgun's finest release yet. Let's just hope they don't wait another six years to release their next album.