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Me First & The Gimme Gimmes | Love Their Country | review | punk | Lollipop

Me First & The Gimme Gimmes

Love Their Country (Fat Wreck Chords)
by Ewan Wadharmi

We have both kinds of music, punk and western. It's high time Fat Mike's Karaoke kings bellied up to the bar for some honky tonkin'. In the complaints department, the pop-punk lineage translates to mostly pop-country, so George Jones is a no-show. Where it works best, the joke goes farther than the paradox of material and delivery. It fails when undue respect is offered to The Eagles and subpar Willie Nelson. To the casual observer, questionable selections like "Goodbye Earl" (why not "Wide Open Spaces" or "Sin Wagon"?) and "Lookin' For Love" hint that that these fellers ain't true country fans.

Garth Brooks' "Much Too Young" comes in like a lamb, or more like Wilco playing it straight until the punchline "to feel so fucking old," comes in like the hammer of Thor, and it's balls-out from there. "Ghost Riders" gets the Ranchbone treatment, nice and brisk and echoey. Singer Spike Slawson's Irish accordion fits "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" like a sheep stomach fits haggis. The "Annie's Song" is Green Day fun through and through with Dave Raun's galloping snare that rivals Dave Grohl, and the surprise lyrical remodel. It's a no-brainer to cover "Jolene," a great song first gender-bent by The Sisters Of Mercy. But the undisputed far and away winner is the inspired melding of "East Bound And Down" with The Damned version of The Stooges' "1970." Brilliant! Best Me First & The Gimme Gimmes ever.


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