Mall'd to Death - Can't Make a Living (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Mall'd to Death

Can't Make a Living (2010)

Geykido Comet

Punknews reviewer Tyler Barrett (GlassPipeMurder) and a few of his friends (including an ex-member of Off with Their Heads) are dabbling in a new outlet for punk rock nerdery: a Minneapolis-based pop punk trio titled Mall'd to Death. That alone should spark a few ideas of what they sound like, and unless you've been living under a rock and don't know who Off with Their Heads or Dillinger Four are, chances are you're probably right.

However, Mall'd to Death seem to have a lot more fun. Their first offering to the punk world, Can't Make a Living is more an homage to their favorite bands than a forum for self-loathing or snarky, political commentary. Whether the song titles are referring to Crime in Stereo ("Skateboards for Afghanistan") and Bomb the Music Industry! ("Bomb the Defense Industry!"), or they're singing about J Church and an interesting interpretation of the Hedgecore craze, it's safe to say that their tongues are planted firmly in their cheeks. Barrett's vocals are much like Ryan Young and match the humorous vibe, rarely disclosing a smoother and serious tone.

Strangely, the first two tracks, "Armani Needle Exchange" and "Blood for Gas Money" seem to be the most serious. It loses it after that. Not in a bad way, mind you; I got a real kick out of the line "from DOA to RKL / DI to TSOL / He knows the letters well / But he don't know what they spell" in the ode to the music downloader, "Young Man on a Downloading Spree."

Sonically, Can't Make a Living isn't really your new Org obsession. But if you're a punk fan in general, sit down and thumb through the lyric sheet while listening to the catchy tunes: you're guaranteed a good time.

Oh, conflict of interest? Cut us a break, we don't get paid.