Chewing on Tinfoil - Get Rich or Try Dyin' (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Chewing on Tinfoil

Get Rich or Try Dyin' (2009)


Forgive one for generalizing, but a lot of the American ska-punk acts sprouting up in the last few years seem kinda cheesy and forced. Few of them are blessed with even decent songwriters and they're not doing any real boost to the style. Chewing on Tinfoil only reinforces this idea, being Un-American and all (birth-wise, not parody-wise), and being occasionally stellar.

This Dublin act don't actually have any horn players -- the only elements they have outside of the usual guitar, bass and drums are double bassist / "mouth organ[ist]" Stu and keyboardist Westy. But there's plenty of upstrokes and nimble rhythms that make them not only a fit in the ska-punk landscape, but a talented one at that. Their lead vocalist even sounds quite a bit like Tomas Kalnoky.

Chewing on Tinfoil have a knack for writing melodic, slightly scrappy, amble ska-punk cuts. There's some great dual vocal interplay on opener "Breso," probably Get Rich or Try Dyin''s best. The band doesn't quite match the magic captured in that song, but they do a good job trying. The title track has some pep, while "Piece Together" has some moments of repetition/catchiness just short of being truly special. "Littlefoot" has a wonderful restraint and atmosphere about it for the first minute sang by their other vocalist (and other portions thereof); the song doesn't quite hit the climax you'd expect, but it does hint at something much greater.

Get Rich or Try Dyin' definitely gets tepid at times and the album wouldn't suffer any if 10 minutes were trimmed from it. Still, a fine effort that proves the third wave is inspiring some talented acts.

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