Week 40 Review

The Ataris – Anywhere But Here (1997)

Bottom Line Up Front: This is a 4.0 out of 5 stars album. I know. I know. Another pop punk band crying about relationships. Enough already. But The Ataris do a really good job of mixing things up and Kris Roe has a keen musical sense that makes him smarter than your average pop punker. It’s worth your time.

Artist BackgroundFor all intent and purposes, The Ataris is Kris Roe. He’s the only constant member of the band for it’s entire history since it started in Anderson, Indiana in 1995. The first album (this one) didn’t happen until their demo tape made it’s way to the owner of Kung Fu Records by way of Bogart’s (Cincinnati, Ohio). There’s been 20 members since 1995, so saying they have had some lineup changes is a bit of an understatement. Regardless, Kris has stuck through it all, even when he had no money, was living out of his van in California, and everyone had quit the band. Yet, he still kept pressing on. His commitment paid off as subsequent albums grew in popularity to the point where it peaked with 2003’s So Long, Astoria, which was certified gold. They are currently performing on the Blue Skies, Broken Hearts tour with the line up from the So Long, Astoria era.

Album Background: Anywhere But Here is very traditional punk album in terms of timing as it blows through 20 tracks in a little over 32 minutes. Most of these pop punk tracks last well under 2 minutes. The Wikipedia entry says Kris did everything but the drums, which was handled by Derrick Plourde, for this album. I have no idea how accurate this is, as Jasin Thomason didn’t leave the band until after ABH was released. Also, the credits refer to a member that didn’t join until after the album was released. So I’m not sure what to believe. It really needs to be pointed out that I am talking about the 1997 original release of this album. Kung Fu Records decided to re-release the album in 2002, which happens all the time with early albums when a band gains significant popularity. I’m not certain if it was an effort to make the album sound similar to their current albums or what, but I know that I absolutely hate the 2002 version with every fiber of my being. They changed the track listing completely, added horrible reverb to every track, and created a wall of sound by destroying the original dynamics. I very much appreciate the more raw sound of the 1997 release, and the track order makes more sense to me with the nearly all instrumental track, 1-2-3-4, being the opener.

My anger only intensified with how I discovered this hellish creation. I wanted a higher bit-rate version of the album than the one in my collection. Being the impatient person I am, I bought and downloaded the MP3 album from Amazon without double checking anything. “What the fudge is this?” was the only question that ran through my head as I started up the album on my way to work. I wish it had been a CD so I could have tossed it out of the car window onto the side of the highway like an old bag of McDonald’s*.

*=Not really. I hate when people litter. They’re a bunch of littering jackasses. Please don’t litter.

Favorite Track: This pick should be the incredibly infectious Hey, Kid! but it isn’t. Despite Hey, Kid! being proclaimed by many (most notably and recently by my editor) to be my official theme song with the eerily close to reality chorus of “Bitch, bitch, bitch. That’s all you ever do,” I’m actually choosing a different song. Instead I am going with the 19th track, Boxcar, which is a cover of a Jawbreaker song that was originally released in 1994 on the album, 24 Hour Revenge Therapy. While Kris didn’t write the song it speaks very highly of his sensibilities to include a cover of one of my favorite punk songs of all-time. The Ataris version is dialed back a bit compared to the original version, but I think the song is better off for it. Boxcar, from what I can tell, is a swipe at those who like to say who is punk and who is not. The whole idea of having to strictly adhere to a code of conduct to be punk seems ridiculous because mindlessly regurgitating the punk ideals and principles of others leaves you back at where you started before you entered into the punk subculture. This idea is best expressed in the line of the chorus “I was passing out when you were passing out your rules.” It’s worth listening to for sure.

What Works: 

  • Intro I love the opening track of this album. It start’s with a quick count off then goes full throttle on the guitars and drums for the remaining 40 or so seconds. To me, it’s an iconic moment for punk music. To other listeners, it’s might be that annoying 40 seconds before the album really begins. Maybe that’s why Kung Fu Records pushed it back to end of the record for the re-release. Huge mistake, but it’s just one of many by Kung Fu when they redid everything.
  • 1950s Much of the time, I felt like I was listening to a pop punk Buddy Holly album. Kris has such a keen sense of what makes a good classic pop song. You can clearly hear the influence of early rock and roll acts throughout the album. Speaking of which, I think Buddy Holly was one of the earliest punks in music as he was one of the first musicians to start writing their own material instead of relying on others. Even the standard punk band setup of a vocalist, two guitarists and a drummer was first popularized by Mr. Holly.  Listening to this album also reminded me of the reviews of punk songs by Chuck Berry. He basically asks what’s the big deal with punk because he’s been playing this kind of music for years. And he’s absolutely right.
  • Maturity I think Kris’s level of writing was incredibly mature for a first release. I make my case with the song Take Me Back which is a wonderful satirical take on breakup songs. On this song, the boy begs his girlfriend to take him back while listing all of the wrongs he committed against her in the previous relationship. The song takes it to an absurd level by including things such as cheating 15 times, standing her up on their wedding day, giving her an STD, telling everyone they had sex while on TV and last, but not least, blowing up her car. In a world overflowing with whiny pop punk guys wishing their exes would take them back, this song is incredibly refreshing. He knew exactly what he was doing when he wrote it.

What Doesn’t:

  • Too Many or Too Little Towards the last third of the album, things start blending together. I think a lot of this has to do with how quickly they are blowing through songs. You don’t always have enough time to appreciate the song before the next one starts up. While I was taking notes, some of the songs didn’t have any notes because I didn’t have enough time to think of anything to write. If I don’t have enough time to write anything at all, does the listener have time to get anything out of the song? I know very short songs are a staple of pop punk, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any negatives to this approach. Would a 40 minute album with some of the songs extended out a little longer have been better? Maybe. But unlike Kung Fu Records, I don’t think there is any reason to screw with an album to make it “better” than what it was.

In Conclusion: I really like this album. It’s a solid pop punk effort. If you are going to listen to it, I implore you to hunt down a copy of the 1997 release. The easiest way to find the original CD is probably eBay, where you can get a better description of what you are specifically buying from the seller. It’s also great because you can see pictures of the album art in the jewel case since the 2002 version also uses different album art. So it should be really easy to pick out.

Music Video Links:
I couldn’t find any official music videos. Sorry.

Streaming/Purchase Links:
Amazon Music (2002 Version!)
Google Play (2002 Version!)
iTunes (2002 Version!)
XBOX Music (2002 Version!)
Spotify (2002 Version!)

Information Links:
Wikipedia Artist
W
ikipedia Album
Facebook
Twitter
Official Site

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Week 39 Review

Rufio – Anybody Out There (2010)

Bottom Line Up Front: This is a 50% out of 5 stars album. I have incredibly mixed feelings on this album. In fact, they are so mixed I’m going to completely contradict myself in this review. Is it a cop out to not take a firm stand? Probably. But life is rarely black and white. More often than not there are more than 14 shades of grey.

Artist BackgroundUnfortunately, we are starting with the end of Rufio instead of the beginning. Why does that matter? Much like Our Lady Peace and countless other bands, losing one band member changed everything. In Rufio’s case, it was their founding member and bassist, Jon Berry. His bass playing had such a huge impact on the sound of the band. But what’s done is done. Rufio is a pop punk band founded in 2000 by four guys in Rancho Cucamonga, California. They’ve put out 4 albums then they broke up. Afterwards, one of the other founding members, Scott Sellers, did some work with the Dutch pop punk band, The Lost Boys Club. Highly appropriate given the origins of Rufio’s band name.

Album Background: Anybody Out There is a pop punk album released in 2010 with a runtime of about 36 minutes. I find it has some serious emo/pop rock leanings myself. Wikipedia, however, lists it as strictly pop punk. The album was their first since they went on hiatus after releasing their original trilogy from 2001 to 2005. This is the first and only album to not include Berry. I actually bought this after wondering what happened to those Rufio dudes. I was kind of surprised to see they had released another album. I was even more surprised after I started it up. Why? Normally, I can easily identify their albums within moments of it starting as they all had a distinct Rufio-esque sound to them. But with this new album, that sound is completely gone along with ex-bassist, Jon Berry. I find it sort of funny I made a statement to a friend about 12 years ago that my main problem with Rufio was that they sounded so generic. Distinctly generic? That can’t be a thing. I told you this review was going to be filled with contradictions.

Favorite Track: Nothing really stood out for me for this album in all honesty. But that’s a common theme for Rufio albums. It’s usually more about the listening experience of the album instead of any individual tracks. Consequently, I’m going to use my highly objective quantitative sing-along metric to bail me out of this situation. Essentially, it is which song did I catch myself singing aloud to the most times during the past week. And the winner is This I Swear. This song, in particular, feels more pop rock than pop punk, but at least it’s pretty catchy overall. Reminds me of Oleander’s I Walk Alone for some reason. Maybe it’s the introspective nature of both songs, which I tend to be a fan of. I don’t think they sound alike. It just reminds me of the Oleander song.

What Works: 

  • Lyrics The lyrics writing approach is interesting. As far as I can tell, they take simple ideas and try to shift/manipulate them just enough so they aren’t so straight forward or cliche. Some artists can bring an extraordinary amount of beauty in simple lyrics but that’s also very difficult to pull off. I’m glad Rufio at least recognizes this and tries to give you something to ponder while you’re listening.
  • Intros Rufio tends to be pretty damn good with riffs. Accordingly, I liked many of the intros on this album. I especially enjoyed the aggressive ones like those from Deep End and Little World. People often speak of the importance of the making a good first impression when you meet somebody new. You only have one chance, as the saying goes. I think it’s equally as important with songs. Give them something good and you’re already ahead of the game with the listener.
  • Topics I blasted certain other bands for covering the same topic ad nauseam over the course of an album, so I commend Rufio for what they did on this album. I liken their approach to a painter doing a series of oil on canvas paintings where you have a consistent topic that you try to explore with different approaches. In this case, Rufio is exploring the topic of relationships. (I know! I am as surprised as you are! That’s hardly ever covered in the pop punk genre. </sarcasm>) They really do cover many different states of a relationship. This includes pursuing a relationship with a new person, not wanting to be in a relationship, being in the beginning of a relationship when there is all this optimism and positive energy, being in a bad relationship and wanting to keep going, being in a bad relationship and wanting to end it, being the one ending the relationship and having the other person ending the relationship, and so on. The breadth of it is pretty impressive for a single album. And even some of the way they covered common topics such as breaking up with someone is done well. There were numerous religious references found throughout the song Little World. The purpose was to evoke the notion that faith is often required to end a relationship when you don’t really know if it is the right thing to do.

What Doesn’t:

  • Lyrics While I like their approach of making simple lyrics more complex, they did it to the point where it became distracting. I spent an unusually high percentage of my time studying the lyrics of this album. As a result I don’t think I could appreciate the other aspects of the album as much as I would have liked. And it was incredibly frustrating when my attempts to come up with the meaning of a given verse proved futile because I’m certain it’s something simple. Maybe they should have went for a more weird approach so it would be more like an abstract thought exercise. Let’s bring it back to Our Lady Peace again for an example. Their song, Carnival, talks about yoga classes for cats in one verse. Hypothesizing why that line was included is fun even though I will never figure it out.
  • Intros The intros are good for the most part, but as I was going through this I decided to start the song then quickly jump to the very end of the song. What I discovered was that the ending is basically the intro but they let the last note slowly fade out. They actually did this for the first five songs. That came off as lazy writing to me. And five straight songs is a pretty big deal on a twelve track album.
  • Topics Is there a problem with covering so many aspects of relationships on a single album? I would argue it can also be a bad approach. It can come off as a scatter shot method in which an artist is attempting to try to reach as many people as possible in hopes to selling to a wider audience, thus making more money. Starting a new relationship? We got you covered. Breaking up with somebody? We got you covered. Somebody break up with you? We got you covered. Just trying to concentrate on yourself? We got you covered for that too. It’s like being the Walmart of relationship songs.

In Conclusion: This album is very much a mixed bag. And not just in the simplistic sense of half the songs are good and the other half are bad. Instead, the underlying qualities of the songs are individually mixed with no real bulletproof conclusion of “Is this album is good or bad?” If you’re still interested in Rufio after reading this, I would encourage you to start out with their first three albums. You will be a lot happier with those. The guys involved provided a very solid effort here as I wouldn’t question the musical abilities of any of them, but it just didn’t quite click for me.

On a final note, like some other bands I covered, even though the band is no longer together, they are doing one last show together. For Rufio it will be on June 18th, 2015 at the Montebello Rockfest. I took a look at the lineup for the Canadian rock festival and it’s deee-cent. If you’re looking for an excuse to go to Canada this summer, Rockfest is a pretty good one.

Music Video Links:
I couldn’t find any official music videos unfortunately.

Streaming/Purchase Links:
Amazon Music
Google Play
iTunes
XBOX Music
Spotify

Information Links:
Wikipedia Artist
W
ikipedia Album
Facebook
Twitter

Week 32 Review (18+ Only, NSFW)

All-American Rejects – All-American Rejects (2003)

Bottom Line Up Front: This is a 0 out of 5 stars album. And that’s being incredibly fucking generous. I reached into the deepest depths of my humanity to pull that zero out of my ass. It truly deserves a negative rating because those motherfuckers owe me at least 3 stars as compensation for making me miserable for an entire week.

Artist BackgroundWhen the album was released, AAR was a two person band. They currently have four members. And I hope for the sake of humanity that the band has improved since their major label debut in 2003. I have two more of their albums in my collection but I’m scared to listen to them. I start physically trembling if I even think about the other albums. And rightfully so. I’ve been given the equivalent of late 19th century shock therapy for 5 straight days. I’m surprised I’m not curled up in the fetal position right now while my editor lightly strokes the top of my bald head and softly tells me everything is going to be okay. So back to the two jackasses that created this monstrosity. Tyson Ritter and Nick Wheeler formed the band in Oklahoma. Look, I’m not blaming Oklahoma for this mess, but where the fuck were you guys? Why didn’t somebody nip this shit in the bud? Well, what’s done is done. Let’s move on and get this shit over with.

Album Background: This album (I’m not sure it qualifies as one honestly) is pop punk emo bullshit at its worst. It runs 43 intelligence-insulting minutes long and came out in 2003. It went platinum and actually got some decent reviews. Lots of 4/5 stars. And honestly, this has some really catchy material. But in reality, this album is a cruel joke. It’s a grape tootsie pop with a diarrhea stank center ready to explode onto the tastebuds of an unsuspecting listener. There should not be this many positive reviews. I think reviewers got far too hung up on liking this album because the duo was so young at the time of recording. Sure it’s impressive for their age but how long are you impressed with your newborn pooping? At some point, shit is shit, right?

Favorite Track: I know you’re all thinking I’m going to pick their massive hit Swing Swing which got all the way up to #8 on the charts for my favorite track. But the best song is My Paper Heart. Why? Because it is the first track on the album. When I first heard this song on Monday morning as I pulled out of my garage, there was so much promise here. It was going to be such a great week. Nice upbeat pop punk tempo mixed with poignant lyrics about a broken relationship. And then there’s this little bell thing they do combined with sugary sweet sing along moments. Bop. Bop. Bop. La-la, la, la. Bop. Bop. Bop. Unfortunately, it’s all a prison-style shower raping from there on out. Every subsequent listening of this album has been a soapy prison dick right in my ear.

What Works: 

  • Nothing Fuck this album. Nothing works. It’s a tragedy it’s just MP3s instead of a physical CD. I’d fucking set it on fire if I could. Melted plastic fumes never smelled so good. Like god damn roses on a dewy spring morning walk with your mother.

What Doesn’t:

  • Everything I could go into great detail about how I hate the phrasing the lead vocalists uses. And the drum machine. FUCK the drum machine. I could bitch about how they keep using the same tricks over and over throughout their album. That little bell thing in the first track I talked about? I think I counted probably three other songs where they do the same thing. I’d go back and look at my notes to get an exact count but my notes look like the diary of a madman with ‘fuck you’s scribbled over everything. But really, I just want to focus on what pissed me off most of all: Track 1 is a song about a failed relationship. Track 2 is a song about a failed relationship. Track 3 is a song about a failed relationship. Track 4 is a song about a failed relationship. Track 5 is a song about a failed relationship. Track 6 is a song about a failed relationship. Track 7 is a song about a failed relationship. Track 8 is a song about a failed relationship. Track 9 is a song about a failed relationship. Track 10 is a song about a failed relationship. Track 11 is a song about a failed relationship. The cherry on top of this shit sundae was that I have the version of the album that included a bonus track which is a song about…you guessed it…a failed relationship. How fucked up was Tyson and Nick’s high school experience that this is the ONLY kind of song they could write? Fuck the band for making this album. Fuck the record label for releasing it. Fuck the radio for playing it. And fuck the public for buying it. I hold all of you responsible for making 2003 a music tragedy. Hopefully, we can all learn a valuable lesson from this so it never happens again.

In Conclusion: Even some of the best albums, I can be tired of hearing on repeat by the end of work on Thursday. But this album? By early Monday afternoon I desperately wanted to stop listening to it. I actually didn’t have a real good idea of why I hated this album until I started doing my final listen and began taking notes on each song. I spent most of the week scared I wouldn’t be able to explain what went so wrong here. Like most worrying, it was all in vain. It’s pretty fucking clear why this album is a shit stain.

Please note this entire review was written purely for comedic purposes.  I don’t actually hate the album that much. Fuck that. I do actually hate the album that much. I really really really hope these guys got better with their later albums. There’s obviously a lot of potential talent there. It’s just the execution could not have been any worse. Praise Jebus that the rest of their albums are only in my collection and not on my MP3 player. I really can’t take the chance of going through this again.

Music Video Links:
All-American Rejects – Swing, Swing (Official Video)
All-American Rejects – The Last Song (Official Video)
All-American Rejects – Time Stand Still (Official Video)

Streaming/Purchase Links:
Amazon Music
Google Play
iTunes
XBOX Music
Spotify

Information Links:
Wikipedia Artist
W
ikipedia Album
Facebook
Twitter
Official Site

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.

Additional Links:

Week 10 Review

This week I’m reviewing Punchline’s 2nd album: 37 Everywhere. I discovered this Pennsylvania-based pop punk band after listening to their single Not Afraid on some random emo sampler back in the day. 

Artist: Punchline {Steve Soboslai – vocals, Chris Fafalios – bass guitar, background vocals, Greg Wood – guitar, background vocals, PJ Caruso – drums}
Album: 37 Everywhere
Year: 2006
Genre: Pop Punk
Rating: 4.37/5

Worth Your Time? Of course!

Twitter Review: 37 Everywhere is a solid well-crafted pop punk album with a nice mix of intensely delivered dark topics and uplifting messages throughout.

Top 3 Tracks:

  1. Exactly
  2. Flashlight
  3. Green Light (the intro for this video is great)

Things to Look For:

  • Wonderful Writing. There’s actually a lot of clever lyrics using a combinations of metaphors and play on words.  I think the darkness described in Flashlight is actually talking about hitting rock bottom with drug addiction.  I believe the entire song is about the frustrations of dealing with a friend or loved one who is a drug addict.  In Don’t Try This At Home, it includes the lyrics “The backseat’s a dream when you’re just 18 but the dreams take a back seat so fast.” I think this perfectly alludes to the difference of your carefree late teen years when your parents are still shielding you from being an actual adult and the stark reality that hits you once you finally are on your own.  I think a lot of people gain a lot of respect for their parents once they become an adult. The entire songs compares growing up to a reality television show. The title even plays on a common TV phrase usually reserved for dangerous stunts by shows like Jackass but instead reserves it for something all of us eventually have to do one day which is learn how to survive on our own.  Caller 10, despite it’s upbeat tone for the majority of the song actually ends on a tragic down note questioning how much of falling in love is left up to fate and how much is our own responsibility.  Exactly covers a fairly introspective topic of the process of losing your energy and ideals of youth as you are absorbed into the compromised world of adults. It’s easy to write a pop punk song about always staying true to yourself and doing what you believe.  It’s a lot harder to capture what happens when that gets applied in the real world and the fallout that follows. Steve Soboslai is definitely a lyricist I respect.
  • Emotional Intensity.  I think the spoken word part found at the end of Exactly shows just how far these guys will go.  But even the background vocals of Green Light and lead singer’s delivery in Wars Will Always Happen convey the intensity that Punchline brings to the game.
  • Hooks, Riffs and Choruses. Punchline is more infectious than a room full of kindergarteners in late October.  It’s pretty hard not to sing and hum along after you listened to the songs a couple times.

Low Points: At 38 minutes, I wish the songs were a little longer or there were more songs but it’s about standard for pop punk albums.  I also noticed some song structures similarities but nothing even remotely close to what Staind does. Their more straight forward relationship songs are probably at the bottom of the list for me but even they still come with an incredibly catchy chorus.

Anything Else: The name of this album comes from some of the band members obsession with seeing the number 37 everywhere on a daily basis. They claim if you look, you will be surprised how much you find it.  Here’s a post of Chris Fafalios explaining it. To go along with seeing a certain number everywhere, I watched Joel Schumacher’s The Number 23 shortly after I bought this album.  It’s worth watching in the same way it’s worth watching Schumacher destroy the Batman franchise: so you can say you survived a Joel trainwreck.

Finally, the album is dedicated to John ‘Beatz’ Holan, Bayside’s drummer who unfortunately died in 2005.  He is mentioned by name in the song They Are Strong Hands which has a pretty intricate plot for a low budget music video.

Additional Links: