The Presidents of the United States of America - The Presidents of the United States of America (Cover Artwork)

The Presidents of the United States of America

The Presidents of the United States of America (1995)


Alright, I know I'm going to get a lot of shit for writing a review of this album and submitting it to a punk website, but 7 years after obtaining this album, only about a week ago, after a friend of mine, and I decided to throw it in the CD player just kicks, did my friend and I realize how great, and how very punk this album is. I've decided that this album, as far as I know, has slipped by most people as one of the most underappreciated albums of the past 10 years.

The first track, Kitty, is a great opening track. The opening guitar has a nice indie punk feel to it. The lyrical style is established with great lyrics, disguised as dumb. It's about a guy who wants to touch the kitty as his feet. The rhythm is fairly mid tempo at first, with a driving chorus. Mid way, you start hearing signs of an explosion, when it hits you. The song turns into an all-out rocker, whitch a fast driving rhythm, and then it stops. This song is an experience in itself.

The next stand out track was a single called Lump. It's another simple punky yet quirky rocker with a catchy melody and driving rhythm.

Track 5, going by the name of Boll Weevil, sounds like it could be on a Beck album as one of his rap songs. It's got that "whiteboy who has genuine soul" feel to it, with a funky guitar and bass line and jazzy swinging beat.

Next up is Peaches. When I first heard this song I thought it was a joke. "What the fuck kind of song is about peaches???" I thought (kinda like Aerosmith's Pink). I'm still not sure if it was written as a joke, but i feel like there's more to it than meets the eye. This song also has the quirky punk sound that you hear throughout this album with a fuzzy grungy guitar line.

Track 8, called We are Not Gonna Make It (Twisted Sister reference?), is the all out punk rocker on the album. It's a fast, driving song, with a fast beat, a great bass line, a grungy dissonant guitar line, and it's completed with lyrics conveying self doubt. This one is my favorite song on the album, partly because the beginning shows them messing up the first time, and then starting over. It's a nice way of showing imperfection.

The last stand out track is actually nice little blue grass tune with a real phish feel to it. Towards the end of the song it gains a nice "square dance announcer" groove to it. The song also mentions that kitty at his foot which seems to be a running theme throughout the album.

The rest of the songs, while not the stand out tracks, are in no way filler. Every song on here is important to the album, and all have great aspects to them. I just mentioned what I thought were the best ones.

Overall, I compare this album to the Ramones and Led Zeppelin. The Ramones side to it are the simple punky beats and fast guitars. The music and lyrics are great, and show real genius, yet it's all disguised as dumb. The music also has an outlandish side to it which I compare to Led Zeppelin. In track 2, Feather Pluckin, you even hear the singer scream like Robert Plant. You also notice a certain quirky quality that I compare to Beck throughout the album, but I don't think Beck even had any material released at the time, so I'm not sure if he's really an influence. Maybe he did. As you listen to the album, you'll think to yourself that you've heard a lot of it before, but that just goes to show that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, because the outcome of all those influences is something so unique, I don't think I've ever heard another band quite like this one. It's because of this that I call this a true punk record.

I've been told that there's actually only 5 strings in the whole band. Apparently the guitar only has 3 strings on it, and the bass only has 2 strings. Odd. You should also know that this is the same group whose cover of Cleveland Rocks is the current Drew Carey theme song.

All in all, I think this is a great record that not enough people took notice of. All throughout the song, you hear great surprises in the music that make it great. This isn't a perfect record however. One fault I've found is that the last song is a little low energy for a closer. I think it would have been better as a high energy song.

If you haven't heard this CD, I suggest you check it out. If you own this CD but haven't listened to it in years, put it on. You'll be surprised either way.