Home Grown - Act Your Age (Cover Artwork)

Home Grown

Act Your Age (1998)


I never really knew what to make of this record. There had been a lot of hype about this band, so when I came across this album in my local record shop I picked it up. I listened to it and instantly liked, but didn't love it. However, it stayed in my car for months (I was new to driving and spent as much time riding around listening to music as I could). There was just something about it I couldn't quite put my finger on at the time. All the elements were there: They covered pop-punk, ska-punk, and '90s-style skatepunk.

Now listening to this again years later, I get it. It's too damn polished and manufactured. It's almost a pretty record, but I don't necessarily mean that as a compliment. It takes all these great elements of '90s-style punk, takes the edge off and gives you what is ultimately an underwhelming album that you might listen to a few more times than it really deserves.

While they don't do anything especially technical, the musicianship on this record is solid. I especially enjoyed the drumming of Bob Herco--he puts in some interesting parts, especially the ride cymbal work on "Suffer." Adam Lohrbach and John Tran share vocal duties and both do fine. There are also some great vocal harmonies on this record.

Still, with all this intact, the songs never hit quite where they aim. The funny songs never make you laugh, the serious songs are hard to take too seriously and the snotty songs are just unconvincing.

There's really not much else to say other than when they announced Kings of Pop, I wasn't surprised and didn't bother to pick it up because even back then I could tell where these guys were heading. Just a couple of observations, though: (1) There was a lot of hype about this band and it went away after this album was released, and (2) I have yet to meet someone who was a big fan of Home Grown even at the time (although I'm sure there are and I'm sure that comment will piss someone off).