Week 21 Review

This week I’m reviewing Acme 143 by Houston skate punk band, 30footFALL. The album was released in 1997 and finally put the band on the pop punk map following a set of well received records.     

5

Artist: 30footFALL {James “Butch” Klotz – vocals; Chris “Delron” LaForge – guitar, backing vocals; Rubio Cisneros – bass, backing vocals; Damon Delapaz – drums}
Album: Acme 143
Year: 1997
Genre: Skate Punk
Rating: 4/5

Worth Your Time? For those who want to know more about pop punk than just Blink-182’s MTV years. (Not knocking Blink-182.)

Twitter Review: While not unique, 30footFALL accurately demonstrates all the qualities that made me fall in love with punk in the first place on Acme 143.

Note: I did not use YouTube this time for links because I had a hard time finding every track I wanted to mention. Instead, I decided to use Grooveshark for everything.

Top 3 Tracks:

  1. Cheese
  2. Entertainment vs. Enlightenment
  3. Still Rock ‘n Roll to Me

Things to Look For:

  • Snarky Punk Attitude. Butch does a great job with the lyrics (and vocals) as he balances social commentary with bathroom humor. He isn’t afraid to point out issues within the punk community with songs like Entertainment vs. Enlightenment, Punk Rocks in Your Head and Bad Hair Day Punks to challenge the audience as they bounce around in the mosh pit. But he keeps them bouncing with songs like Cheese and Constipation. The punk genre is interesting because it highly encourages thinking for yourself instead of adopting values of given group or society at large. This is plainly illustrated in the song, People Are Stupid. But even 30footFALL would be incredibly disappointed if you blindly adopted their world view. Analysis and introspection are critical components of being a good punk.
  • Best Insult Ever. Halfway through Cheese, Butch starts delivering a monologue about a girl who insulted his music while he was at work. He hurls back devastating weird insults towards her like “Your momma got gold nipples” but then he goes in for the kill and drops the atomic bomb with “You got a rip in your couch” which is followed a menacing deep growl as the song temporarily switches to nu metal territory. Ripping on her couch is without a doubt my favorite moment on the album. It makes me smile every time I hear it.
  • Movie Quotes. The album opens up with a quote from Girls Just To Have Fun on Urine Nation, does two quotes from Friday on Constipation and has a quote from Saturday Night Fever on Bad Hair Day Punks. Interestingly (or maybe not), all three movies feature actors that would see serious success later on in their careers. This group of actors include Sarah Jessica Parker, Chris Tucker and John Travolta.
  • Weirdest Chorus Ever Sung in My Car. Feel Like Morrissey is a very catchy tune on the album. It even has the obligatory hand claps. While driving, I couldn’t help but sing along to the chorus every time it was playing which was “Band-aids on my nipples cause I feel like Morrissey.” Besides a unique chorus, it oddly also features a flute solo. 30footFALL really does do what they want.

Low Points: I really did enjoy listening to this album all week. I was worried that now that I’m in my 30s that I would start to lose that connection I had with punk in college. I’m happy to report it is as fun and inspiring as ever. However, it doesn’t mean this album was perfection. About 3/4th the way through songs start blending together. I think this is a combination of two aspects of the album. The first being the lack of variety in tempo. Pretty much every track is of one of three speeds: fast, medium fast and fast medium. The second would be a limited selection of song topics. A lot of them fall in the same general area. So I think it takes someone familiar with the genre to appreciate the subtle differences between songs. For someone who spends most of their time with other kinds of music, these problems will only be magnified. But I would hope that you take the time to give it a listen. You might end up being as captivated as I was and start a lifelong punk love affair.

Anything Else: The last song I would like to discuss is the hidden track Like the Band Survivor That Wrote the Song Eye of the Tiger. At roughly 2 minutes and 40 seconds, they start beatboxing a techno beat as a group making all sorts of goofy noises. What really stuck out for me was how eerily similar this was to the hilarious flash video, Strong Bad’s Email: Techno, which is legendary among my group of friends. If you have no idea who Strong Bad is, seriously consider checking out Homestar Runner’s website. It will make you better person. Probably not but it is freaking hilarious.

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